Cancer is sadly a disease which sadly everyone can relate to; from knowing someone who has passed away to battling it yourself. Ahead of the Race for Life in Preston in June, the Post will be speaking to women who have personal stories to tell.
A young boy will be taking part in Race for Life in memory of his mum who died of cancer two years ago.
Ten-year-old Alfie Bolton, of Leyland, will join his aunty, Kat Alty, at the Cancer Research UK event in Moor Park on Sunday June 18.
His mum, Tracy, a well-known and popular member of staff at the Leyland Tesco store, died suddenly of bowel cancer in 2015.
In April 2015, the mum-of-one had started to feel exhausted and nauseous. By the summer her condition had worsened and she was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer.
As the cancer was so advanced, Tracy was unable to start treatment and within a month she and the family were told she was terminally ill.
We were all devastated and deeply shocked by Tracy’s death at such a young age.
She sadly died aged just 38 in August of that year.
Her sister Kat, who attended Balshaw’s High School, now lives in London where she works as an operations analyst. She took part in Race for Life Preston in 2016 in tribute to her sister and was first through the finish line of the 5k event.
This year she will support Alfie as they remember and celebrate Tracy’s life while they walk, run and jog and around the course.
Meanwhile, Kat, 25, has set herself the daunting task of completing 12 demanding tasks over 12 month to raise money for Macmillan Support and St Catherine’s Hospice, where Tracy passed away.
The challenges include cycling the equivalent height of Mount Everest, cycling from London to Leyland, an Olympic Triathlon and her own personal Iron Man challenge.
Kat said: “We were all devastated and deeply shocked by Tracy’s death at such a young age.
“But I am keen to remain positive and make a difference.
“We don’t want other families to face the same heartache.
“Research into cancer is absolutely vital.
“Taking part in Race for Life is a very emotional, but great experience.
“I am looking forward to taking part once again in June with Alfie and remembering what a lovely and bubbly person Tracy was.”
Race for Life 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events will be held at Moor Park over the weekend of Saturday June 17 and Sunday June 18.
Every day, around 110 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West. That’s why Cancer Research UK is calling on women across the region to fight back against this devastating disease by signing up to Race for Life now.
Last year, almost 1,000 women tackled the 5k and 10k course. This year, organisers hope 1,100 people will take part in the fight against cancer.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK’s North West spokesman, said: “Life-saving research is being funded right now thanks to the women of Preston running, jogging or walking at Race for Life.
“Many of the women, like Kat, are remembering a loved one and we are incredibly grateful for their support.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Marathon events which raises millions of pounds every year to find new ways to tackle cancer.
Money raised through Race for Life helps to make long-term research and pioneering trials possible, leading to new tests, kinder treatments and cures, which could save the lives of more people across the North West.
Research is improving survival all the time: Cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years and more women are surviving breast cancer than ever before.
Almost nine in 10 children diagnosed with leukaemia survive for ten years or more and 98 per cent of men diagnosed with testicular cancer now survive their disease for ten years or more.
Sign up for Race for Life now at www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.
Race for Life
Although Race for Life is women only, boys up to the age of 12 can take part to support their mums, sisters or aunts.
Entry is £10 for boys aged six to 12 and for girls aged six to 15 and £14.99 for women aged 16 plus.
Children under six are free and don’t need to register.
Anyone aged under 15 must take part with an adult aged over 18.
All women are welcome, regardless of whether they are taking part on their own or as part of a group.
To register, visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 1230770.