Newmarket bloodstock agent Susie McKeever defies 'chemo' and raises £50,000 for the Brain Tumour Charity
A Newmarket bloodstock agent who was diagnosed with a brain tumour 10 years ago has raised an amazing £50,000 for research into the disease by taking part in the Brain Tumour Charity’s 10k Twilight Walk at Warwick.
Susie McKeever, 56, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2008 after experiencing an epileptic fit and initially had surgery to remove it but the tumour has regrown twice, most recently in July this year.
“The tumour took up a quarter of my brain and four years after the surgery it had grown back even bigger,” said Susie.
“At that point it was life- endangering and if I had done nothing I would have been in a coma and then dead. But I thought ‘It’s not doing that to me’, so I started on a course of chemotherapy, taking pills for five days of each month for nine months. It’s pretty ghastly because essentially you are feeding yourself poison for five days and it makes you incredibly tired and nauseous.”
In July, Susie’s life was again turned upside-down with the news that after five clear years the tumour had re-grown once more and she is currently back on the same chemotherapy routine.
“I need to get this thing sorted and I just hope and pray the chemo will work well for me this time. Rather than sitting at home being miserable and twiddling my thumbs I decided to do something positive and to get up and make a difference,” said Susie, who signed up for the Twilight Walk, one of three being organised by the charity. Fortunately it was scheduled right at the end of a chemotherapy cycle on September 30 when she was feeling at her best.
She did the walk with her brother Nick Harvey, and daughter Izzy, and said it was an ‘uplifting and inspirational’ experience.
“There were 700 people taking part and at the end there was a huge crowd cheering everyone past the winning post. It was amazing and very emotional”.
Susie has asked that her donation should all go towards ongoing research into brain tumours.
“The charity is involved with both research and support and, although supporting people is very, very important, I feel that not enough money is going into research,” she said.
“I am very lucky in that I know a lot of people in the racing community and they have all been incredibly generous in sponsoring me.”
Susie had another big boost a week ago when Sea of Class, a filly bought for 170,000 guineas on behalf of Hong Kong-based clients at the Tattersalls yearling sales in 2016 by McKeever Bloodstock Ltd in which she is a partner with her husband Johnny, failed by a whisker to land European racing’s biggest prize, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
“I delayed my chemo by two days so we could be there in Paris for the race. Obviously Sea of Class is one of the best purchases we have made and next year will be very exciting and is something to look forward to,” she said.