A Sidcup cancer survivor has said she owes her life to one former Premier League football star after she raised hundreds of pounds for her local cancer treatment centre.

Midwife Nikki Smith, 35, was initially given her diagnosis of Grade 3 breast cancer in May last year, although she received a warning sign of the disease almost three months prior.

"I had just returned to work in January after coming off maternity leave when I found a lump the following month," she said.

Nikki said she didn't pay it too much attention until she saw a thought-provoking advert for the now-famous TV documentary Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, which followed the former Man United centre-back Rio Ferdinand one year after losing his wife to cancer.

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"I never brought myself to watch the Rio Ferdinand documentary but I saw an ad for it one day and thought, 'Well what if something happens to me? What about my kids?'

"If it wasn’t for Rio Ferdinand, I wouldn’t be here," said Nikki.

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Nikki works as a full-time midwife

After plucking up the courage to get her lump checked, Nikki said that her GP initially waved it off, claiming they couldn't feel what she was feeling, which created issues for her referral process.

However, when she was eventually referred to an oncologist at Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup, she was immediately sent for a mammogram as well as a biopsy, which confirmed her diagnosis.

"I nearly cancelled the hospital appointment.

"I remember sitting in the waiting room and seeing everyone and thought, 'I’ve taken this appointment away from someone else because my doctor couldn't see what was wrong.'

"Being a healthcare professional, I was putting others ahead of myself. We're very good at that but not great at looking after ourselves."

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During her time at the Guy's Cancer Unit in Sidcup, Nikki decided she wished to give back to the facility and organised an almost 12-mile sponsored walk from the Guy's Cancer centre near London Bridge to Queen Mary's Hospital, something she undertook just one week after finishing her radiotherapy programme.

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Nikki with her supportive family after completing the 11.6 mile sponsored walk from London Bridge to Sidcup

"I felt the need to do something because I hated being off work.

"The hardest thing is being away from work, your normality is gone in a flash.

"I’m used to being busy and I don’t do resting," she joked.

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Nikki Smith, 35

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Her campaign, which her entire family also completed, managed to raise £1,640 for Guy's Cancer and the trooping mum said she is continuing with her fundraising efforts with a cancer survivor celebration event this summer.

Going forward, Nikki wishes to spread the message that women should regularly check their breasts for lumps, no matter where they are.

"Check your breasts. If I can get it anyone can get it," she stated.

Following a long battle with her condition which saw the mum of six undergo surgery, rounds of chemotherapy and continuous radiotherapy treatments, Nikki was given the all-clear earlier this month.