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Statue in honour of 'Mrs Incredible' Liz

Liz O'Riordan.
Liz O'Riordan.

An ‘incredible’ breast surgeon who was diagnosed with breast cancer is set to have a statue put up in her honour.

Liz O’Riordan, from Elmswell, was first diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2015 and was given the all-clear following treatment – but in May her cancer came back.

The Heritage Open Days scheme commissioned 3D statues of 25 inspirational women, and Liz has been nominated. She was 3D scanned and her likeness 3D printed to create the small 35cm tall statue.

The statue is set to be unveiled on September 9 in Bury’s Abbey Gardens, then it will be moved to a permanent home of Liz’s choice.

The national project, ‘Put Her Forward’, collected nominations online for women whose achievements have inspired, changed and empowered their community.

Liz, 43, recently decided to dress up as Mrs Incredible for her final radiotherapy treatment.

She said: “Three months after I finished treatment, my husband and I cycled a crazy mountainous sportive in the Italian Dolomites, the Maratona, and a diabetic consultant in Portsmouth, Partha Kar called my husband Dermot and I The Incredibles, with a picture of the couple from the film.”

She added: “That led to me buying my husband and I matching outfits with the plan of wearing them for a park run. It was too hot to run in them over the summer as they are lycra onesies, and by the time winter came around, we had forgotten about them.

“Just before radiotherapy started, I was clearing out a cupboard and saw them, and wondered whether I should wear one to my final session - just to have a bit of fun and celebrate finishing radiotherapy treatment for the second time around. The rest is history.”

Commenting on the cancer and whether treatment has been successful, Liz said: “This is a tough one. Technically, I don’t have breast cancer any more, and the treatment I’m having - radiotherapy, and having my ovaries out so I can start taking a different anti-oestrogen tablet – is meant to stop my cancer coming back.

“However, up to 30 per cent of patients with breast cancer will get a recurrence, and that can happen 10 or 20 years after their treatment. The technical term, which I hate, is NED - No Evidence of Disease. The only real way to know that your treatment has been successful is if you die of something other than recurrent breast cancer.”

Liz has also written a book aimed at cancer patients with Trish Greenhalgh, who ended up having chemotherapy the same day as Liz and contacted her on Twitter.

She said: “We wanted to talk about the stuff no-one talks about - sex, the menopause, anxiety and depression, cancer coming back, end-of-life care, and how to move on afterwards.”

Liz said the reason she wrote the book, once she was diagnosed as she was desperate for information.

The book is called The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer How to Feel Empowered and Take Control and can be purchased on Amazon.

Liz O'Riordan.
Liz O'Riordan.

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