Ellie goes 'Over the Moon' at The MoonWalk Scotland

Ellie is preparing for a double-marathon as she takes on ‘Over the Moon’, 10 years since her mum's all-clear after a 2-year battle with breast cancer

Ellie Wagstaff, 28, from Edinburgh, is preparing for a double-marathon when she takes on ‘Over the Moon’ at The MoonWalk Scotland in June. The event raises money for grant-making breast cancer charity, Walk the Walk.

“This year marks 10 years since mum had the all-clear from breast cancer after a two-year battle, and I wanted to do something special to celebrate such a huge milestone. I’m running my first marathon in Edinburgh in May, and thought why not go one bigger and take on Over The Moon, a double marathon at The MoonWalk!

Mum is an amazing person, and we’ve always been close as a family. She inspires me to aim high and be ambitious in everything I do and encourages (and challenges!) me on decisions I make. She is loving, resilient, smart, brave, determined and a best friend to me. I wouldn’t have achieved half the things I have without her by my side.

Mum found a lump in her left breast 12 years ago, and went to the GP immediately. The doctor confirmed it was breast cancer, which started the process for treatment.

It was a huge shock when mum received her diagnosis, I felt like my whole world had just collapsed. The future had suddenly become uncertain, and my mind started fast forwarding to the worst-case scenario of life without mum, which terrified me.

Mum had an operation to remove the cancerous lymph nodes but sadly it was unsuccessful. Further testing revealed a spread to more lymph nodes, and a second operation was urgently needed to remove these.

Thankfully, the second operation was successful, and doctors confirmed the tumour had been removed. Once mum had recovered from the operation, she had chemotherapy every three weeks for six months. This made her extremely weak and sick, and she lost all her hair which was one of the most upsetting things for her, and for us. The impact on her mental health, as well as physical, was clear to see from feeling drained and ill all the time combined with being self-conscious about her hair loss. She had a wig cut to style, which took some getting used to, but helped her to start feeling normal again and got her out and about.

After the chemo, she had radiotherapy every day for four weeks, which was tough but wasn’t as hard on her physically or mentally as the chemo had been, and gave her hope the end was in sight. After two years she was given the all clear in 2009.

As well as support from family and friends, mum went to the Maggie’s Centre every week to do arts and crafts, painting (which she loves) and chatted with other patients going through the same thing. It was so important for her to have others to relate to because while we stood by her side, ultimately it was her body this was happening to. The staff at the Maggie’s Centre were incredible and made mum feel at ease and comfortable talking about her breast cancer. They were a huge support to all of us, and are one of my motivations for doing The MoonWalk, knowing that money raised from the event helps projects like Maggie’s.

Training for The MoonWalk is going well so far - I love walking the full length of the Water of Leith starting from Balerno, training around the Meadows or along the sea front at Crammond and I try to escape to the Pentlands at weekends to get some hills in for good measure!

I can’t wait to get my bra to start decorating! Mum and I are huge fans of Take That and loved their Circus Tour, so I’ll probably take some inspiration from there as well as plenty of feathers and sequins – pink of course!

My message to others thinking about doing The MoonWalk would be - don’t hesitate and get involved! The MoonWalk is a great way to raise money for an amazing charity and have fun along the way. I already know this has become an annual event for me, come and join in!”

Feeling inspired and want to Walk the Walk like Ellie?

There's still time to join The MoonWalk Scotland 'Circus'... or be part of the fun and join our fabulous Volunteer Team?!

Or how about in 2020... Register your Interest for The MoonWalk London now! 


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