Reward of keep fit

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AFTER serious surgery I would like to publicly thank surgeons Mr Ian J Adam and Dr Mark D Haynes and all of the other wonderful doctors, nurses and support staff at the Northern General and Hallamshire hospitals for their fantastic care and commitment to their work.

A colonoscopy identified cancer in my colon and a later CT scan also showed another on one of my kidneys. Two successful operations have removed the section of affected intestine and the kidney.

After many years of teaching keep fit and then, in the 1980s, extending my training with Sheffield Health Education Department to teach Look After Yourself classes at Parkwood College, one of the prime areas of discussion always concerned early detection. As bowel cancer has always been a weakness in my family, I decided to be checked out.

It was a tremendous shock to our whole family when cancer was discovered. I had had no particular symptoms and have always been regarded as ‘the fit one’ in the family, always trying to live reasonably healthily and practising what I preached. Now, thanks to my fitness (at the age of 74) I have come through those operations really well.

Special thanks go to my husband and our lovely family for supporting me all the way through a very worrying tie. Receiving so many beautiful cards, telephone messages and visits from family and friends and all of my Keep Fit ladies has made me feel very humble and blessed and I have shed quite a few secret tears.

All being well I hope to continue teaching Keep Fit for as long as I can. Originally I was a professional ballet dancer in Germany but after some years living in England, I eventually taught ballroom dancing for the Constance Grant School of Dance in the ’60s. I then took my Sheffield Keep Fit Association qualifications and have been teaching ever since.

I am really blessed to be paid for my hobby and love every minute of the work.

Christine Dungworth, a German-born Yorkshire lass