A SOUTHAMPTON grandmother spent years battling cancer.

Now after being given the all-clear she is stepping out to help launch Cancer Research UK’s latest fundraising campaign – and she wants people in the city to join her.

Brenda Margereson was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram and underwent a lumpectomy and chemotherapy which meant she lost her hair.

Just five months after her treatment had finished, as she started to get back on her feet, came news that a lump in her neck was also cancerous.

The grandmother-of-one was forced to endure a second course of chemotherapy as well as 18-months of the drug, Herceptin.

But that was 14 years ago and Brenda, 73, a keen scrabble player and member of the Southampton Saints scrabble team, says research, a determination to stay positive and her love of walking and gardening helped her through it.

Now Brenda and her husband Robin, 75, are helping Cancer Research UK to launch its Walk All Over Cancer campaign that is calling on men, women and children to take 10,000 steps every day in March and help support research.

Brenda says she is indebted to research but knows only too well that not everyone has the same outcome, having lost three good friends to pancreatic cancer.

Since her own diagnosis she has not only regularly taken part in Cancer Research UK fundraising events like Race for Life but also devoted her time to growing and selling plants and donating the proceeds to the charity to fund more research into the disease.

She has raised more than £5,000 in the past decade.

Brenda said: “Being told you have cancer is the biggest shock.

"The treatment can be hard going but I was determined to be positive. You just get into this routine of having treatment and going to hospital every three weeks.

“I would always try and get outside for some fresh air – I am a firm believer that keeping an active body and mind is very important and what can be easier than going out for a walk?

“Apart from not wanting to eat very much I coped with it very well. I’ve heard it likened to walking through treacle and I think that’s a very good description. But I’m here as proof you can and do come through.”

As well as playing scrabble Brenda is busy keeping the garden at their Douglas Crescent home going and is preparing for a new season of plant-growing.

But she’s also encouraging everyone in Southampton to put on their walking shoes. To sign up, visit www.cruk.org/walkallover