Michele Lennox finally believed she wasn’t going to die of cancer the moment she completed an amazing challenge of visiting every single turbine on the country’s biggest onshore windfarm.
A year after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer and having to undergo surgery, the 55-year-old library assistant at OneRen’s Linwood Library set herself the extraordinary goal of bagging all 215 turbines on the Whitelee Windfarm, on Eaglesham Moor.
Michele walked 360 miles during 30 visits to the windfarm in the course of a year. And now she’s become the star of a video made by Scottish Power Renewables – operators of Whitelee Windfarm – to promote cancer survival, health and well-being and a positive mindset.
Michele describes the moment she bagged the final wind turbine to complete her challenge:
“When I reached the final turbine, it was like an epiphany. It made me believe that I’m not going to die of cancer and I was able to draw a curtain across what I’d been through the past two years.
“It gave me such a sense of wellbeing and inner mental strength that I had achieved what I had set out to do.”
Michele takes up the story of her diagnosis, treatment and the new lease of life she has had after bagging the wind turbines:
“I was diagnosed with cancer in 2020 after I went to see my doctor because I had flu symptoms. When I mentioned other symptoms of blood spotting I was sent to see a specialist, had tests done and they discovered I had a 19cm tumour on my ovaries.
“I had a full hysterectomy, my lymph nodes removed and treatment for endometriosis.”
Michele continues: “After the hysterectomy I couldn’t walk from one end of my living room to the other, so I had to build up my strength again. First I was able to walk the length of my hallway, then down the driveway and a bit further as time went on.
“I wanted to get more exercise and on New Year’s Day in 2021, I decided to go for a walk, but because we were still in Covid lockdown, I reckoned it would have to be somewhere pretty isolated with not a lot of people about.
“That’s why I decided to head up to Whitelee Windfarm with a close friend, Iain MacMillan.
“To our great surprise the place was jumping with people who obviously had the same idea as myself, so we headed off the beaten track and eventually came to one of the wind turbines, which had a number on it.
“We walked on a bit further and as we came up to another turbine, I saw that one had it’s own number as well. Seeing that gave me the idea that I could maybe set myself a challenge to walk to every one of the 215 turbines on the Whitelee Windfarm.”
Michele set about carefully planning the route for each of her walks and logged them on a spreadsheet. Friends would often join her on these walks and they always took a photograph in a different pose at each turbine reached.
Michele continues: “Completing the challenge of walking to every turbine had an amazing effect on me. It helped strengthen me both mentally and physically, as I was feeling really depressed and at time, I felt my life was nearly over.
“I hope that anyone who reads my story becomes more aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
“And if they are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, they should realise it’s not the end and there is a lot that can be done to get rid of the disease and survive – especially if it’s caught early.”
Thankfully, Michele is clear of the cancer, but will have regular check-ups for the next two years.
Michele says: “When you are diagnosed with cancer and even after successful treatment, you sometimes find that the thought of the disease returning is sitting on your shoulder.
“But I’d say to people to never give up hope of surviving and keep on fighting the cancer.
“And although the cancer is in one part of your body, don’t let it get into your mind and take over your thoughts.”