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Erith mum on charity weight loss mission

PUBLISHED: 09:30 06 December 2012

Nicola Hanmore

Nicola Hanmore

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After shedding an enormous 13 stone, Erith mum Nicola Hanmore was devastated that she allowed the weight to creep back on.

Now the 33-year-old is on a mission to get back to a healthy size and there is a driving force helping her to achieve her goal. The Tesco worker is in the midst of a sponsored slimathon as she aims to raise £2,250 for Cancer Research UK, her employer’s charity of the year.

A decade ago her grandmother had cancer of the uterus but survived thanks to excellent treatment and is still alive.

Getting involved was an easy decision to make, she said. “Cancer Research, along with the doctors and nurses, did an amazing job keeping my grandmother alive. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to get slim and support a great cause. I’ve lost 13 stone in the past and put it all back on again so I’m aiming to keep it off for good this time.”

Nicola works in a store in Aylesford, Kent, and sees this as the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

She is getting sponsored £250 for every stone she sheds and she says the money is a great incentive to keep on track.

“I’m not just doing it for myself. Doctors, nurses and scientists do so much in the fight to beat cancer and this is my way of saying thank you for helping my grandmother.”

A couple of years ago 24-stone Nicola, who lives in Selkirk Drive with her young daughter Isabella, went on a radical diet of milkshakes, diet bars and soups. She lost more than half her bodyweight but as the stones dropped off she was left with unflattering saggy skin.

“My application for surgery to remove the skin was rejected by the NHS despite recommendations that I needed it from a plastic surgeon and my GP,” says Nicola. “I was devastated and started to cry. I was invited to try again in two years if I managed to keep the weight off. I realised I’d actually been happier bigger so went to the shop and bought crisps, chocolate, pizza and any other bad food imaginable. It was a slippery slope from there.”

Lynn Daly, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the South East, said: “We’re overwhelmed by the support of people like Nicola who have gone out of their way to support our charity of the year. It’s so inspiring.

“Hopefully this will raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease and reduce people’s anxiety about cancer.”

Nicola knows that keeping the weight off might fulfil her dream of having the operation.

“The weight’s going down and the skin is becoming saggy again,” she says. “But I know I’ll have a good chance of getting the operation if I’m disciplined, and that would change my life. It’s even better that I get to do that while supporting Cancer Research UK.”


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