A Wigan mum is running, walking and dancing her way through 1000km to raise money and awareness for the charity who helped her through a traumatic ectopic pregnancy.
Lois Rowland, a former midwife from Standish, is hoping to raise at least £300 for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust (EPT) after she suffered one herself in 2011.
The 33-year-old was forced to undergo two operations before receiving the devastating news that she had lost her growing child.
Now, a mum-of-two, Lois is hoping to raise awareness of the fantastic work done by the charity to help support women going through similar ordeals.
“I ended up having to have two operations,” said Lois. “It was truly the most awful time of my life.
“Any early pregnancy loss is horrific, but an ectopic pregnancy has the added stress of being a real threat to your own life and also a threat to your future fertility.
“I had already had fertility treatment to get to that point because I had one blocked tube.
“I ended up having two surgeries. They originally thought my pregnancy was in the good tube but they weren’t really sure. They ended up not removing it so I woke up thinking it was all over and it wasn’t.
“It was only a week or so later that they found it on the scan. It was in the tube that was already blocked which was a slight relief as I still had one left.”
Following the surgeries, Lois and her husband - James - who is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Wigan Infirmary, decided to take a break from trying for children.
“I just couldn’t deal with trying,” she said. “I spent time using the EPT forums. They have got all sorts of help on there for women who have had ectopic pregnancies.
“There are people there who really understand what you are going through. A lot of people will say ‘you can try again’ but it’s just not that simple, and at that time it’s just not what you want to hear.
“I found it to be the only place I could go where people really knew how I felt.
“Through them I met some wonderfully strong women who were going through the same thing at the same time.
“I’m extremely grateful for the support they offered me, the continued work they do for other women and for raising awareness of the condition to try and saves lives.
“As a doctor and a midwife we had the medical side of things sorted, we knew what was going on, but there is little emotional support out there.”
After having her two children, Molly, five and Benjamin, three, Lois decided she wanted to give something back to the charity which had given her a new lease of life.
“I signed up to the EPT1000 challenge because I wanted to do something for them,” she said. “I am walking, running and dancing my way to 1000km bit by bit.
“I have started doing the Haigh Park Run which was a bit daunting at first. So I go with Molly, that way I’ve got an excuse if I’m going slowly. I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to do it on my own.
“It’s lovely to have her beside me to give me the motivation to go out and do it.
“I’m also doing it through dance classes. We cover about 1km in each class. They’ve started adding extra laps in for me too.”
To find out more about Lois’ challenge visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/loisept1000