A WOMAN who survived one of the deadliest forms of cancer is backing a campaign to raise funds to fight the disease.

In February 2016, Denice Walker, 58, was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, the sixth most common cause of cancer death in the country.

The civil servant, who works for the Department for Work and Pensions, was prompted to go see her GP after she became sick while with her husband, Billy, 48, on a weekend away in North Yorkshire.

She was referred for an endoscopy and just four days later she was having the procedure and being told they had found a lump.

Within a week, Mrs Walker, from Washington, was seen by a surgeon and given the full results that she had stage three oesophageal cancer, and a few lymph nodes were also affected.

She said: “Hearing that news was like the world had stopped.

“In a split second time stood still. Inside I felt completely numb. I still vividly remember that feeling and what it was like. It was the loneliest place in the world.”

Mrs Walker was told she would need to start chemotherapy and then undergo surgery, one of the most invasive procedures, which sees the removal of the oesophagus and the stomach pulled up into the chest to form a new one.

She said: “After the enormous shock I then went on to think ‘ok what do we need to do?’

“I never felt sorry for myself or wondered why me?

“I had to learn to go along with them and what they said, but they included me in the decision-making process and kept me informed of everything.”

Mrs Walker took part in Cancer Research UK’s Walk All Over Cancer in March 2017 and a year on is using her own experience of the challenge to encourage others to sign up and get sponsored to walk 10,000 steps every day next month to support the charity’s life-saving research.

She said: “Now I just want to give something back and since my diagnosis I’ve done a lot of charity work, but I have found the Walk All Over Cancer, 10,000 step challenge has helped me the most. Research has saved my life.”

Visit cruk.org/walkallover