At this year’s walkathon event, there will be two participants from Lincolnshire who are both suffering from a rare type of cancer and will be taking part in the event in the hopes of raising funds and creating more awareness for the condition. The deputy mayor for Mablethorpe, Issie Barret and Councillor Stephen Palmer from Sutton-on-Sea both suffer from Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST), a rare condition that has only been seen a few times in Lincolnshire.
Issie is a resident of Sutton-on-Sea and regularly goes to the Station Sports Centre gym in Mablethorpe. She also likes to walk. She is the walkathon’s main driving force. The event will be taking place on the Saturday of June 17 at the sports centre. The walkathon is also being supported by the Magna Vitae. Those taking part in the walk will be aiming to go around the Astro turf at the sports centre as many times as they can within two hours. The event will go from 12 pm to 2 pm in the afternoon.
According to Issie, she was diagnosed with the condition in June 2016 after reporting a lot of indigestion pain. She stated that the symptoms of the condition were hard to diagnose and this is what makes it different to other cancers. She believes that in all of Lincolnshire, only two people are publically known to have been diagnosed with the condition. She added that she was currently managing the condition with medication which was being used to treat the tumour. The tumour is being monitored regularly and should it increase in size, more action will be taken.
Issie admits to having been scared the first time she looked up the condition on the internet. She did, however, find a support group for GIST in the UK and she says the information from the group really helped and that was also when she decided to organise the walk so more people could find out about the condition to also help to raise funds for the cause.
Steve Palmer’s cancer is currently active for the fourth time and only surgery can now remove the tumour but he’s still determined to participate in the walk. By the time he had decided to participate in the walk, he didn’t know that he’d be diagnosed with GIST again so quickly. Anyone can participate in the walk.