Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Crufts star Roo is helping his Newhaven owner battle cancer - with video
A NEWHAVEN cancer sufferer has spoken about how her dancing dog and their pursuit of Crufts’ glory has helped her fight the disease.
Kirsty Vaughan, 33, who has been dog dancing since 2006 with her border collie Roo, was diagnosed with cancer in May 2012 and had a tumour removed from her lung, along with five ribs and a third of the organ.
She says that Roo has given her the drive to beat cancer and she competed yesterday at the prestigious dog show with the aid of an oxygen tank.
Kirsty said: “Since the diagnosis everything seemed to become all about my cancer. It’s all anyone ever talked about.
"I was no longer Kirsty anymore but this person with cancer.
"Roo and his training gave me a chance to escape the cancer and allowed me to be just Kirsty again. Training Roo has helped me to remain positive, and attain a level of normality.”
Kirsty qualified for Crufts Dog Show with Roo four times in a row before her diagnosis and made it five-in-a-row when they performed together yesterday at this year’s show in the “Heelwork to Music” category.
Kirsty's performance starts at 12 minutes and 40 seconds.
She said: “I didn’t actually believe I would qualify but I wanted to try.
"I kept telling myself life is for living so I’ve got to give it a go.
"I used it as a goal to get me through the year. It gave me something to fight for.
"I love watching Roo work so by asking him to complete even the simplest of moves such as a twist or a spin puts a big smile on my face.”
‘Something to fight for’
Kirsty was close to pulling out of the show in 2012 because of the pain she was in.
She said that she depended on painkillers and the adrenalin of the moment to get her through the four-minute routine.
Despite this struggle she and Roo still managed to finish second in the category.
Kirsty was admitted to hospital four weeks ago as another tumour appeared on her other lung.
It has been treated but she needed a portable oxygen tank to compete in the show.
She said: “My goal is just to get through the four minutes.”
Kirsty thanked her family and friends, as well as Macmillan Cancer Research, for their support.
She said: “After Friday it will be time to start thinking about Crufts 2014.”
- Free health check offered for Crawley residents
- Ex-Albion player due in court on anti-gay charges
- Author Peter James 'lucky to be alive' following 70mph racing crash
- Hove murder: wanted man phones The Argus
- Shoreham Rugby Club holding charity barbecue and fun day