A GLAMOUR puss who overcame cancer is hoping to become an inspiration to other women.
Melissa Hume, from Billericay, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30.
After four years of chemotherapy and rehabilitation, she is preparing to take part in the Cancer Research Race for Life, in Gloucester Park, Basildon, this summer.
Mrs Hume, now 34, said her battle with cancer made her realise what true beauty is.
She said: “When I was diagnosed I was so upset. I was crying my eyes out, as body image was important to me.
“I lost all my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows, and I found this so hard as I had always been such a glamour puss.
“I am taking part in the Race for Life to celebrate my own survival.
Those years dealing with cancer were very tough, but now I feel fitter and stronger than ever and I want to raise awareness and funds to help everyone affected by this disease.”
Mrs Hume, who works as a personal assistant in London, was given the diagnosis in July 2010, just after she and husband Jason first discussed plans to have children.
After finding a lump in her breast she waited six weeks to have it checked out, only to be told by her doctor not to be too concerned.
However, when she went back to collect her results she got the shock of her life. She had three cancerous tumours.
Mrs Hume added: “I wasn’t expecting that at all. I kept thinking they must have mixed up my notes with someone else.
“It was heartbreaking and it all happened at a time when at least three of my friends were pregnant. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit envious. We feel lucky I’ve survived.
“We have so much to be thankful for.”
She wants other women to join the fight against cancer by taking on the charity run, which is taking place on Sunday, June 29.
Lynn Daley, Essex spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re really grateful to Melissa for signing up for Basildon Race for Life.
“Now what we need is an army of feisty females to join her and help us stop cancer in its tracks”
To enter Race for Life’s 5k, 10k or Pretty Muddy events in London visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 6006050.