Limerick woman aims to walk her way to cancer recovery

Karen Dowling with her husband Declan and their dogs Nero, Jessie, and Rufus.

BEING diagnosed with cancer for a second time is not stopping  a Limerick woman from taking on the massive challenge of walking 130 kilometres to raise money for charity.

Karen Dowling (36) from Castletroy was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2010 and made a full recovery after surgery.

Now she is receiving chemotherapy for a new and unrelated breast cancer.

While many people report that one of the most challenging side effects of chemotherapy treatment is fatigue, Karen believes she has discovered a somewhat counter-intuitive remedy for that.

“If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that the only way to find some relief from fatigue and get some energy back is to exercise,” she told the Limerick Post.

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‘It’s the last thing you want to do, but even getting up, taking a few steps, resting, and taking a few more will make you feel a bit better and get the serotonin levels up.

“Of course rest is important when you’re having this treatment, but movement is the one thing that really helps.”

Karen is the Limerick Ambassador for the Marie Keating ‘100k in 30 Days’ drive and will be joined across the month of June by husband Declan and family dogs Nero, Jessie, and Rufus, as well as a loving support team of friends and family.

“I’m very goal oriented and very determined, so I know I will do this,” said Karen, a psychotherapist by profession. “Once I put my mind to something, I can achieve it.”

Karen plans to walk as far as she is able every day, along different routes in and around her home and across the border in Clare.

“There are so many lovely nature walks. We’re very lucky,” she said.

Karen and her support team, ‘Karen’s Pink Army’, are raising money for the Marie Keating Foundation, which, Karen says, “offers such fantastic support and services.”

Anyone who would like to be part of Karen’s Pink Army can join her gang on or the Marie Keating website.

She and her team can also accept sponsorship via her Instagram page @KarenDowling21