Case Studies and PR

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month – Julia O’Shea’s Story...


Today is the first day of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. To mark the beginning of this important campaign we speak to a lady who will ride 100km with Women V Cancer Ride the Night in celebration of 24 years in remission from the disease...

Ovarian cancer is the biggest gynaecological killer of UK women, with UK survival rates amongst the worst in Europe, and yet scientific research and symptoms awareness of the disease is grossly underfunded when compared to other more well-known cancers.

Three quarters of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making treatment more difficult. That is why awareness is so important, to drive forward improvements in detection, treatment and ultimately survival.

Ovarian Cancer Action is one of the UK charities working to increase awareness of the disease, with women and GPs, in order to save lives.

Women V Cancer Ride the Night is the biggest female cycling event in the UK, and the thousands of women that take part are raising crucial funds for Ovarian Cancer Action as well as Breast Cancer Care and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

One of these inspirational women is Julia O’Shea from Surrey. When Julia hadn’t started her period like other friends at the age of 16, she decided to pay a visit to the GP. A trip to the doctors with her mother unveiled the news that her ovaries were cancerous and that she needed to have a double oophorectomy to remove them both. 

Such surgery at this young age was naturally traumatic but to make things worse, three months later she noticed lumps’ protruding from her stomach. She assumed it was scar tissue, but to avoid doubt Julia and her mother paid another visit to the consultant. The news received was nothing that either of them expected, the ovarian cancer had returned. With little time to adjust to the news and just days after her 18th birthday, Julia had to begin chemotherapy.

Julia showed immense bravery throughout the ordeal and was determined to continue enjoying her teenage years no matter what.

“Receiving brutal chemotherapy is not the way I planned to spend my 18th birthday but given the situation I tried to enjoy every moment of my day to day life.

“I completely lost my hair and remember being at a rock concert with my friends, head banging with no hair.”

Now, 24 years down the line Julia still lives with the consequences of ovarian cancer. The extent of her surgery means that Julia and husband, Joe, are unable to conceive a child naturally.

“My ovaries were so diseased that there was nothing to save, my surgery made it impossible to conceive naturally.  As a result my husband and I are going through IVF using egg donors in Barcelona.”

Never afraid of a challenge Julia now plans to celebrate 24 years in remission by cycling 100km through London with Women V Cancer Ride the Night on Saturday 28th May 2016. She will take on the challenge with a number of friends in support of cancer charities, Ovarian Cancer Action, Jo’s Cervical Trust and Breast Cancer Care.

“Six months after my first chemo session I was given the all clear and 2016 will mark 24 years in remission, coincidentally close to when Women V Cancer Ride the Night takes place.

“I saw lots of cyclists on the roads in both 2014 and 2015 and was intrigued by the flashing lights and pink tutus. I was more than eager to be part of the fun!”

If you would like to support Julia’s ride, her JustGiving page can be found at:

You can join in the #RTN2016 conversation on Twitter: @RideTheNightUK and Facebook: Women V Cancer Ride the Night

For more information on Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month including advice and information on how to support the campaign, visit:

Trio of Sisters Prepare for 100km Bike Ride

In memory of their late Mum and with their own links with cancer, Nottingham sisters, 39-year-old Sarah Macey, 38-year-old Ruth Fish and 36-year-old Laura Macey will join thousands of women in 100km charity bike ride, Women V Cancer Ride the Night.

It was eldest sister Sarah who encouraged her sisters to sign up for the UK’s only all-female night time bike ride. After losing their Mum to breast cancer in 2005, Sarah is now receiving treatment herself for thyroid cancer so wanted to get the trio of sisters together and help put the brakes on cancer.

Sarah said; “I wanted something to aim for and Women V Cancer Ride the Night seemed like the perfect fit, an all-female charity event through the capital for our female friends and family and all in aid of cancer charities so dear to our heart. We won’t let cancer bring us down!”

With a target of £1200 in mind, Sarah, Ruth and Laura will join over 3000 participants on a route through London at night on Saturday 28th May, taking them past many famous landmarks including Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace and all in aid of Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.

Ann Frampton, Director of event organisers Action for Charity, said:

“Stories like this are what make Women V Cancer Ride the Night so special. Sarah, Ruth and Laura have their own links with cancer and have chosen to take part in this event because it will help to make a difference to so many people’s lives - they truly are an inspiration. “Everyone taking part has a story of their own making this event all the more special. We encourage all women to take part to do something special and challenging, raising money for causes we all truly believe in.”

If you would like to help Sarah, Ruth and Laura’s fundraising aim visit their JustGiving page;

Entries for Women V Cancer Ride the Night are close to selling out. Sign up now online;


For all media enquires and requests please contact PR Account Executive Carly Jones on:


T- 0115 925 8777

Media places are available in return for coverage of the event.

From Cervical Cancer at Christmas to Cycling 100km in Spring


Cervical Cancer wasn’t what Julia Tugwell wanted for Christmas but on 18th December 2013 that’s exactly what she got. Now, after more than a year in remission she prepares for the ultimate challenge, cycling 100km through London to put the brakes on cancer with Women V Cancer Ride the Night.


Christmas 2013 wasn’t the usual joyous time for Julia Tugwell, 44 from Devizes in Wiltshire. A self-confessed ‘smear dodger’, it wasn’t until Julia noticed bleeding after sex that she decided to pay a visit to her GP and was sadly diagnosed with stage two Cervical Cancer.


Following a very emotional Christmas, the mum-of-one received a radical hysterectomy in January 2014. She is now raising awareness and money for a cause so close to her heart;


“It was an emotional time, but with support of the medical team, who were absolute gems and online peers from Jo’s Trust forum, everything was made that little bit easier.


When you get cancer in the 21st century the internet becomes your source of information and support. I’ve made some fantastic cancer buddies. We’ve exchanged messages, hopes, fears, cards, love and support.”


In July 2015, despite not owning a bike, Julia decided to sign up to Women V Cancer Ride the Night. She shares her thoughts and progress on her refreshingly honest and open blog ‘Hello Vera Juice’; I’ve signed up for Ride the Night! This is crazy as I am fat, 44 and unfit.”


Despite being a huge challenge, thousands of women just like Julia turn out every year to take part in the unique event raising funds and awareness for cancer.


“I lost my dear friend Mandy in July 2015 so I will be riding in memory of her and for all the women who are battling cancer.


“I regularly fundraise for Jo’s Trust, but Women V Cancer Ride the Night stood out to me. Being overweight means the 100km ride will be a huge challenge, but it is something I am determined to complete because I'm still alive and making the most of my precious life.”


Now in its third year, the event unites women raising awareness and hope for a cure. So far the event has raised millions for the three charities, Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action and with help of brave women like Julia, they hope to raise even more this year.


To join the thousands of women putting the brakes on cancer, visit and enter now.


If you would like to support Julia’s ride, her Justgiving page can be found at

#SmearForSmear – Help us encourage more women to attend their cervical screening

Over 5.4 million women were invited for their cervical screening in 2014/2015 and a staggering 1.2 million of those did not attend despite the cervical screening programme having saved thousands of lives since its implementation in 1988.

The statistics for young women are even more worrying as 1 in 3 25-29 year olds don’t take up their screening invitation, and overall screening uptake across all age groups is falling year on year. We knew that we had to do something to reverse this downward trend and so in 2015 we created #SmearForSmear; a simple but effective way to get everyone talking about the importance of cervical screening. The idea is to put on your favourite lipstick, smear it across your face, snap a selfie and share it across social media with #SmearForSmear nominating your friends to do the same, along with the simple message: Attend your smear, reduce your risk of cervical cancer.

In its first year, the campaign was so successful it reached a potential 500 million people worldwide and #SmearForSmear was used thousands of times on social media. In fact, the latest UK screening uptake figures show that the only age group which saw screening attendance rise in the last year was 25-29year olds in England and Scotland

Now it’s 2016 and it’s your turn! Get snapping and share your #SmearForSmear selfie with us during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2016 (24-30 January) to reach even more women and help make cervical cancer a thing of the past.

Derbyshire’s Anne Saddles Up for Charity Challenge Hat-Trick



In memory of her late Auntie, Derbyshire’s Anne Wareing will cycle a total of 300km through London with Women V Cancer Ride the Night. Having completed 200km over two events already, Anne gets set for a hat-trick year reaching 300km on her bike.

In 2014, 45-year-old Anne, from Ambergate, came across the all female cycling event, to be held close to the tenth anniversary of her Auntie Joyce losing her fight to breast cancer. Anne immediately signed up and has been taking part raising money for cancer ever since.

Anne said: “I saw it as a sign that Ride the Night 2014 fell on the tenth anniversary of my Auntie losing her battle to cancer. I signed up for the event on my own and as a complete novice but with the support network of Women V Cancer I never felt alone.

“I returned to work the next Monday on such a high that my colleague and friend Heather Payton and I signed straight back up for 2015. Now we are training together for 2016.”

As well as helping her to support a great cause, the 100km cycling challenge has helped Anne in her weight loss journey. Anne has been a member of a weight loss club for the past four years and her training for the rides has helped her lose almost two stone, dropping from 12 stone to her target of 10 stone 6 pounds.

2016’s event will take place on Saturday 28th May from Royal Windsor Racecourse before setting off on a route through London which takes them past many famous London landmarks including Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace.

Ann Frampton, Director of event organisers Action for Charity, said;

“Stories like this are what make Women V Cancer Ride the Night so special. Anne has her own links with cancer and has chosen to take part in this event for a third time because it will help to make a difference to so many people’s lives – she truly is an inspiration.

“There is a great camaraderie at Ride the Night so everyone involved will be there to support Anne. We will do the same for every woman, from those who are taking part for the third time, to those making that all important first hop on the saddle. All it takes is the courage to sign up and the results are truly amazing!”

If you would like to help Anne’s fundraising aim visit her JustGiving page at

To join the thousands of women putting the brakes on cancer, visit and enter now.