Just when you think you're tough enough


Lady athlete who has NEVER smoked, diagnosed with lung cancer

Super-fit Alisha Barnett who has kept a healthy lifestyle and despite never smoked, has been diagnosed with incurable lung cancer.

Barnett competed in 100-mile charity bike rides, and was diagnosed with stage four advanced lung cancer in December 2014 after going to the doctor with a cough.

Doctors cannot tell the 28-year-old, Barnett exactly how long she has left – but warned that it will be less than a decade.


Barnett told how prior to her diagnosis, she was incredibly fit and had completed a number of charity bike rides. In 2014, she completed the three-peak challenge and in August of the same year took part in the 100-mile Prudential Ride London cycle event.

It was after this event, between Surrey and London, that Barnett developed a cough but she put it down to getting drenched during the cycle ride.

Barnett will have to continue with life-prolonging chemotherapy sessions for the rest of her life and will therefore be unable to have children.

Her cancer was stage four and incurable. A biopsy revealed it was the result of a rare gene mutation, which accounts for less than one per cent of lung cancer patients.

Those with the mutation tend to be much younger than the general lung cancer patient population, and usually, they have never smoked. But despite her grave prognosis, Barnett, who works in asset management in London, said she has plenty to look forward to.

Alisha Barnett

She is set to marry her partner of four years, 31-year-old Jon Douglas, on December 19 after he proposed on Valentine’s Day in Paris.

‘Yes, I’ve been unlucky, but I’ve been lucky in other aspects of my life,’ she said.

‘I don’t have money or relationship worries. I have friends and family who care about me. If I am tired they notice.

Barnett became increasingly ill over the following three weeks, and by the time she began chemotherapy treatment in January 2015, she would become breathless from walking and had lost around half a stone.

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