Former schoolteacher Nic Naish, 47, is telling her story to spread the word that regular exercise can give cancer sufferers ‘a fighting chance’ and prevent it returning.
Nic, who lives in Valencia Road in Worthing with her husband Matt, was the sixth person in her family to suffer from breast cancer.
After having treatment in 2010 Nic joined Albion in the Community, Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club’s official charity.
She now works with them as an exercise rehabilitation specialist, helping cancer sufferers regain strength and confidence in Move More Sussex, a free class funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.
Diagnosed at the end of 2009, Nic left her job at Elm Grove Primary School and spent 2010 having treatment at Worthing Hospital.
“I had this very instinctive thing that I had to exercise throughout and really clean up my diet,” Nic said.
“Keeping active gives you a fighting chance on so many levels. It prevents a lot of the muscle wastage and loss in bone density associated with chemotherapy.
“It allows you to keep your place in society,” she added.
Nic and her family had planned to move to Canada, but after she finished her treatment they decided to stay in Worthing.
“I felt very passionate about being in Worthing. The community on my doorstep did me proud,” she said.
Now she is working with Albion in the Community to give back, running the Move More exercise class in a studio in Tarring Road.
Move More is the perfect class for people who want to get more active but might not feel comfortable joining a gym, Nic said.
“They are in their own little club where everyone understands,” she said.
Nic’s 16-year-old daughter Elka has been a ‘superstar’ and helps with some of the classes, Nic said.
“The whole of this journey was to show that cancer is not a death sentence.
“I wanted her to see it is not the same as it was 20 to 30 years ago,” she added.
Nic also spends time at White Meadows school in Wick, where she is an artist in residence.
Members of the public interested in signing up for Move More Sussex can self-refer online by visiting www.movemoresussex.org.uk.
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