A CANCER survivor, who was diagnosed aged just 22, is urging women to join her at a massive fundraising event.

Jill Cow is calling on women to sign up for Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life Pretty Muddy events, including one in Edinburgh next month.

The mud-splattered obstacle course will take place at the Royal Highland Centre, when women will pull on pink and do their bit to raise funds for the charity.

Jill, of Haddington, was supported throughout her treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a stem cell transplant, by her best friend Kathryn Hanson.

Now she is well again, the friends have been testing out the bright pink space hoppers that are just one of the obstacles women can tackle at the event.

Pretty Muddy is a women-only 5k obstacle course for Cancer Research UK.

Jill will also be the VIP speaker at the event and sound an air horn to set the first wave of women off on September 16.

The former Knox Academy pupil was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January 2014.

She had been feeling very tired and was in a lot of pain due to a mass that had developed on her chest. A blood test and biopsy at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital showed she had cancer and swift action was required.

She said: “Being told I had cancer was frightening but also actually a bit surreal.

“I just felt very distant from what was happening. It was almost as though the consultant was talking about someone else.

“From there, it was all a bit of a whirlwind. The hospital staff were very efficient.”

Before Jill was able to begin six months of chemotherapy doctors had to deal with a blood clot in her neck.

And in April 2015, just when life was starting to get back to normal, doctors became worried about the results of a routine scan which showed that one of Jill’s lymph nodes was swollen.

Jill, an occupational therapist, said: “I was feeling quite well and had got back to work and so being told all wasn’t well was unexpected. I was really devastated by the diagnosis but also reassured by the speed at which the hospital staff got to work.”

This time, Jill had to endure a much higher dose of chemotherapy to cure the cancer. Indeed, one of the rounds of treatment was so intense Jill had to have a stem cell transplant.

The 26-year-old also had to have a special mask moulded over her face and chest to protect her while radiotherapy was targeted at the areas affected.

Jill said: “The stem cells the doctors used for the transplant were my own which was great.

“However, in case they weren’t suitable, my brother Andrew, who lives in Australia, agreed to be tested. Incredibly, he was found to be a match too.”

Throughout it all, the thought of attending Andrew’s wedding near Melbourne kept Jill going.

Jill added: “Since treatment ended, I’m keeping well and my energy levels are improving all the time. I lost my hair through treatment and that’s grown back slowly.

“Now my goals are simple – grasp every opportunity life presents, not put anything off and try to live as healthy as I can.”

Jill added: “I’m urging women to take part in Race for Life Pretty Muddy.”

To enter Race for Life Pretty Muddy, go to raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.