On the road to recovery as West Hampstead’s Emily walks for ovarian cancer

Emily Farquharson-Smith, 27, is completing a charity walk to raise awareness of a rare strain of ova

Emily Farquharson-Smith, 27, is completing a charity walk to raise awareness of a rare strain of ovarian cancer, having overcome the disease herself earlier this year. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A young West Hampstead woman is setting out to raise awareness of a rare strain of ovarian cancer after overcoming the disease earlier this year.

Emily Farquharson-Smith, 27, of Gascony Avenue, had her life turned upside down when doctors found a germ cell tumour called a dysgerminoma after she complained of stomach pains and swelling.

The rare type of cancer accounts for less than one per cent of ovarian tumours and commonly affects women in early adult life, as opposed to more common types of ovarian cancer which usually appear in woman over 50.

The tumour was removed and Miss Farquharson-Smith, who works in business development at an engineering firm, is on the road to recovery.

She is now preparing to take part in the 10km Walk for One Million event for the charity Target Ovarian Cancer.

The aim of the walk is to make one million women aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and raise funds for medical research.

Miss Farquharson-Smith said: “I really wanted to do something because Target Ovarian Cancer does so much work with raising awareness of the symptoms.

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“I wanted to be able to give something back and pass on the message to other people because prior to me being diagnosed I hadn’t really heard of ovarian cancer or that young people could get it.”

This is the second year the event has taken place and it will be held on October 5 at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

Clare Horwood, head of fundraising at Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “The biggest thing is that people like Emily raise the money and are donating, and it’s only through raising money going into research and increasing awareness that we’re able to bring about change.

“The other big thing about the day is people coming together and meeting each other.”

Some 7,000 women are diagnosed in the UK every year.

In 2010 7,011 women in the UK were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 4,295 died from the disease.

Last year, Walk for One Million raised £165,000.

Miss Farquharson-Smith said she is doing everything she can to spread the message about ovarian cancer, including a cake day at work where she will hand out leaflets about the disease.

“The earlier you get a diagnosis the better and the sooner you get your treatment the better,” she said. “So that’s the main aim of what I want to be able to do.”

* To sponsor Emily visit www.justgiving.com/EmilyF-Smith. For more on ovarian cancer and Walk for One Million visit www.targetovariancancer.org.uk