Smoker, 45, who dismissed cough finds out she actually has terminal lung cancer
A woman who dismissed a cough as the after effects of Covid has described her heartache upon finding out that she actually has incurable cancer and only two years to live, according to doctors.
In April, not long before the local elections, doctors found a 5.5cm tumour in Surrey councillor Alison Griffiths' right lung.
Further checks revealed she had 10 tumours in one lung and more than 10 in her other, Get Surrey reports.
The 45-year-old, deputy cabinet minister for Place and county councillor for the Sunbury Common and Ashford Common ward, dismissed a cough as the after effects of Covid, before finding out the bombshell news.
Cllr Griffiths, a Conservative from Sunbury, said: "It's devastating. It's something you just can't get your head around - I could have dealt with 'you have cancer' but 'Stage 4, end of life' knocked me for six. You just never think it's going to be you."
The politician had been smoking since she was 12 and tried quit unsuccessfully on numerous occasions, including during stop smoking campaigns that she ran as a councillor.
"It was a habit I couldn't break. But the day I got the diagnosis, I gave up very easily," she told Get Surrey.
Cllr Griffiths, who has five grandchildren and four children, added: "I ask everybody to please stop smoking, it's really not worth it.
"You don't think it's going to be you, but it can be. That feeling finding out because of the cigarettes I won't be able to see my grandchildren grow up - it was never worth it."
Doctors told her she had just two years left, but Cllr Griffiths responded: "I'm not having it."
But despite the resolute attitude, she admitted that the news completely side swiped her.
"There is no feeling like it, to find out you're going to die. It's the hardest thing you can ever go through. It was such a shock. My whole world just fell apart," she said.
Alison has the possibility of accessing a new method for treating cancer developed by British scientists called a 'sugar bomb' which could destroy sugar-craving cancer cells in a matter of seconds.
Cancerous tumours need "food" to spread, so they consume the "bomb" which has a drug inside it.
So far the treatment, pioneered by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, has been tested successfully on brain cancer but it could also be used to tackle breast, prostate and lung tumours.
But the treatment, like many other cutting edge methods, comes at a price. This led Alison to set up a GoFundMe page with a £20,000 target.
Although the illness meant she had to quit cabinet, Cllr Griffiths is continuing to work as county councillor as much as she can on days she feels well enough.
She said: "It all came at such a late time, I feel like I've let my residents down. They've voted for me and I've ended up with this. But I'm trying my hardest.
She has been a councillor since 2015, when she was voted onto Spelthorne Borough Council.
Praising the medical staff who are treating her cancer, Cllr Griffiths added: "Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals have been amazing. They carried on with cancer treatment the whole way through Covid. The staff are amazing, they have risked their lives."