Maggie’s Southampton Firewalk 2022: Sompting mum faces fears to prove stage 4 cancer diagnosis does not mean life is over

A Sompting woman with incurable breast cancer has agreed to do a fire walk with her family to raise money for Maggie’s Centres on World Cancer Day.

Sarah Michaeloudis, 49, said the idea scared her but with her family by her side, she will brave the heat and walk over the hot embers to prove a stage 4 cancer diagnosis does not mean your life has to be over.

The nearest Maggie’s Centre is in Southampton and Sarah said she would dearly love them to be more widely available. The charity offers free support to people with cancer and their loved ones.

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Maggie’s Southampton Firewalk 2022 will be at Westquay shopping centre on Friday, February 4, to mark World Cancer Day and celebrate one year of supporting people with cancer at Maggie’s Southampton.

Sarah Michaeloudis with her daughter Alyssa, husband Craig and son Daniel, who will be doing the fire walk with her

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Sarah said: “I was told about the fire walk by a friend who teaches Qigong at the Southampton centre, which is the branch my family and I are doing it for as there isn’t one closer to us. Cancer centres like this are so important.

“The reason it stood out to me is because last year I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in my ribs, which is incurable, and my aim in life is to say yes to things I’ve never tried before.”

Sarah had primary breast cancer in 2016 and now has metastatic breast cancer. She said she was ‘clueless’ before and checked for lumps only because her best friend was diagnosed the previous year. But second time around, being more body aware ensured she got an early diagnosis.

Sarah Michaeloudis demonstrating her skills at a pole dancing class

Sarah said: “Before my original cancer in 2016, I would never have done anything like this. Since being diagnosed with stage 4, I kind of think sod it, do something that scares me and this raises money at the same time.

“Maggie’s Centres and the Horizon Centre in Brighton are amazing once you’ve had a cancer diagnosis, or a family member has. There’s so much support, from counselling to acupuncture to help with the pain during chemo.

“I guess I just want to prove that being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer doesn’t mean your life has to be over. I do pole classes and aerial classes and am determined to do as much with my life as I can, while I can.”

Sarah has a blog about cancer on Facebook, called When Life Gives You Cancer, talking about how she deals with it all and acknowledging all her feelings and thoughts.

Sarah has so far raised £490. To support her and her family, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-michaeloudis1