A cancer survivor from Monkstown cycled 750km in the Paris2Nice cycle in France for charity just 100 days after her own cancer treatment.
Regiane Vasconcelos (33) was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2018 when she was planning her wedding with her fiancée Niall.
They had plans to marry in Portugal in October. Everything was planned; invitations were sent, her family were flying over from Brazil, the dress was bought, the honeymoon was booked.
Regiane told Dublin Gazette she “couldn’t have been happier” when all of a sudden, her life changed.
“A few weeks earlier I had found a lump in my breast and had gone for a biopsy to be on the safe side. But at 32 years old with no family history of cancer I had allowed myself to be convinced that it was ‘99% probably nothing’.
“As the doctor called us into her office for the results Niall and I were actually laughing as we walked through the door. Something funny about the wedding plans.
“Then the news came like a truck driving through the wall.
“Triple-negative breast cancer. A particularly aggressive form of the disease.”
Regiane was diagnosed as positive for the BRCA1 gene, meaning a complete double mastectomy was inevitable and treatment would need to begin immediately.
She rang her mum in Brazil to give her the devastating news and cancelled her wedding plans.
At St Vincent’s Hospital, Regiane started a 12 month treatment plan. She endured a vigorous 16 chemotherapy sessions, a bilateral mastectomy, breast reconstruction and 25 sessions of radiotherapy.
“There were some terrible days and some OK days. Quite a lot of days when I didn’t want to wake up, days when I was hurt, days that I missed my family in Brazil, days that I went to sleep crying because I was tired of feeling sick and days that I had no more tears to cry.
“There were also beautiful days, spending time with my Mum and a wonderful day when we got a new puppy.”
As the long year comes to a close, Regiane said: “I am proud to say that I have won.”
To celebrate the victory in her life, Regiane wanted to do something positive for other cancer patients, so she cycled from Paris to Nice a few weeks ago, over 750km in six days, to raise money for the Arc Cancer Support Centre in Dublin.
She said it was a tough cycle but she is glad she could help others.
“I decided to do Paris2Nice in my head in January when I just finished chemotherapy, I think that it was a very motivational goal for me to get fit again.
“Positive thoughts are definitely super powerful when you are going through a difficult time in your life.”
You can still donate to the Arc Cancer Support online at https://paris-2-nice-2019.everydayhero.com/ie/regiane-vasconcelos