Being given the terrifying and ­devastating diagnosis of breast cancer was the toughest moment of Corrie star Sally Dynevor’s life.

But 10 years on and fit as a fiddle she is marking the landmark with the biggest challenge she has put herself through.

At the age of 55 she will embark on a 12-day trek to Everest Base Camp where night temperatures plunge to -30C.

She says: “In the darkest days after my diagnosis, I could never have imagined doing something like this 10 years on.

“I know it’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life, although I still can’t quite believe I’m doing it.

“I appreciate every minute of the past 10 years and I think a great way to ­celebrate that is to do something ­challenging and out of my comfort zone and remind myself how lucky I am.”

Sally, best-known as ­ Coronation Street factory worker and former mayor Sally Metcalfe, will pack her rucksack and jet to Kathmandu, Nepal, in the autumn for the sponsored trek in aid of charity Prevent Breast Cancer, of which Sally is a patron.

Sally says: “I remember in my early 20s somebody telling me Nepal was the most beautiful place they’d ever been. Since then I’ve wanted to go.

“Me and my husband Tim love going to the Lake District and walking. We’ve talked about doing Base Camp Everest all our married life, so when the charity said: ‘do you fancy doing it?’ I said: ‘Oh my God. That would be the perfect challenge’. It’s a dream come true.”

Sally will hike across mountain trails and through Sherpa villages until she reaches Base Camp at 17,600ft – the start of the ascent of Everest, the world’s highest mountain.

As well as the cold, Sally and the 20-strong team will face altitude sickness due to the reduced oxygen.

The actress lives in Manchester with Emmerdale scriptwriter Tim, 57, and their three children, actress Phoebe, 23, student Sam, 21 and Hattie, 15.

Sally has begun gentle preparation with running, swimming and walking. Soon she heads to the Lake District to begin in earnest, but acknowledges the climb will not be easy.

“Apparently we sleep in tea houses, little buildings with no heating” Sally says.

“I suppose it’s better than a tent, but it’s still very cold. I’ve heard we might have to keep our water bottles in our sleeping bags to stop them icing up.

“If I’m filming and it’s cold I find it hard, let alone Nepal!”

Sally looks the picture of perfect health as she prepares for her epic trip.

But back in October 2009 life could not have been more different.

Ironically, it was while her screen character was facing breast cancer that Sally noticed a lump of her own.

The cancer had spread to lymph nodes under her arm and, after a lumpectomy, she began a gruelling course of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy.

The treatment was a success and Sally returned to the cobbles six months later, in a wig after losing her hair to chemo.

It was a dark time but Sally refuses to dwell on those difficult years.

“I don’t really think about it in a ­negative way now, because I’m hoping that’s the end,” she says firmly.

Sally has since became a convert to healthy eating and is a devotee of the Deliciously Ella cookery books, which champion plant-based and natural foods.

“Tim is vegetarian, so I’ve eaten mainly vegetarian in our married life anyway, but I’m much more aware of eating less read meat now,” she says.

“I try to exercise a bit more and I check my boobs in the shower, to make sure I can’t feel any lumps. I’m just more aware of it now.”

Sally still has annual mammograms and will finally come off breast cancer drug Tamoxifen later this year.

And although memories of her illness have been pushed to the back of her mind, she admits the experience has changed her. “I hope I’m more understanding, more humble and more grateful and that I appreciate things more,” she says.

“I think anything like that – where you go through something that you didn’t think you were going to face – is bound to change you and your outlook.”

Lancashire-born Sally joined Corrie in 1986 aged 22 – and 33 years later remains as devoted to the show as ever.

Her storylines have included marriages to Kevin Webster and Tim Metcalfe, being wrongfully jailed for fraud and falling through the Underworld factory roof as it collapsed.

Viewers recently saw her bid a tearful farewell to her sister Gina, played by Connie Hyde, after burying the hatchet following a long-running feud.

“I felt terrible being awful to her, because Connie is so lovely,” Sally laughs.

“I couldn’t bear it, we’re best friends off screen and I adore her. I’m not like that at all. I never hold a grudge. There are too many things to worry about in life.”

Later this year Sally plans to take part in the “10-year challenge”, where social media users share a decade-old picture.

“I’ll probably do a picture with no hair and one of me now with the team trekking,” she says. “It’s a great way to raise awareness and hopefully I’ll raise loads of money for Prevent Breast Cancer.”

Meanwhile, as she prepares for her epic trek, Sally feels on top of the world.

“I keep saying to the kids you measure success by waking up in the morning and going, ‘I love my job!’” she beams.

“I’ve got three fabulous children and I’m married to a very special man – I feel very lucky.”

  • You can sponsor Sally at uk.virginmoney

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