Sutton on Sea duo aim to raise awareness for uncommon condition Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumour

Two sufferers of a rare type of cancer in Lincolnshire are taking part in a walkathon event this month to help raise funds and provide further awareness for the condition.

Pictured is Co-op manager Kevin Fergerson, Don and Issie Barrett, deputy mayor Stephen Palmer and  Paul Marson of Magna Vitae.
Pictured is Co-op manager Kevin Fergerson, Don and Issie Barrett, deputy mayor Stephen Palmer and Paul Marson of Magna Vitae.

Issie Barrett (70) and deputy mayor for Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea, Councillor Stephen Palmer, are both currently battling Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST) which only a small handful of people in Lincolnshire have been diagnosed with.

Issie, who lives in Sutton on Sea is a keen gym goer at the Station Sports Centre in Mablethorpe and loves to walk.

She has been the main driving force behind the walkathon event that takes places at the sports centre on Saturday, June 17, with support from Magna Vitae.

The aim of the walk is to go around the astro turf at the sports centre as many times as possible in a period of two-hours, between 12noon-2pm on the day.

“I was diagnosed with GIST in June 2016, after having a lot of indigestion pain,” Issie said.

“It is different to other types of cancer because the symptoms are difficult to diagnose.”

Issie believes there are only two known people in the Lincolnshire area that have come out publically with this type of cancer.

She also added that her condition is currently manageable with medication to help treat the one tumour she has.

It is monitored regularly and further action would be taken if it increases in size.

“When I first went online to find out about GIST, it scared me to death,” Issie added.

“But after I found GIST Support UK, their information has been great. So I wanted to organise this walk to raise further awareness for this rare form of cancer as well as raise money for the cause.

“I won’t let this cancer beat me.”

Current deputy mayor for the coast and former County Councillor Steve Palmer’s cancer is currently active for the fourth time.

The only way to remove his tumours this time is surgery, but he’s determined to take part in the walk as long as he’s not called up for an operation before then.

“When I heard Issie was doing this walk, I was keen to support her, little knowing I would be diganosed with GIST again this quick,” Steve said.

Anyone can take part and do as much or as little as they like. You can register to take part on the day from 11am. There will also be a raffle and tombola on the day.

Issie wants to thank the Co-op in Mablethorpe, Magna Vitae and everyone else for their support towards the event so far.