A Chester mum-of-three, who has survived cancer for nearly 30 years, will set participants off on this weekend’s Chester Race for Life .
Jean Lloyd, 65, will be a VIP guest at the 5k event at Chester Racecourse on Sunday (July 26), and will be taking to the stage to share her personal story about the cancer she has battled for decades before sounding the horn to start thousands of runners, joggers and walkers on their way.
Jean, of Hoole , was first diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called neuro-fibrosarcoma in 1986 after experiencing pain in her stomach with with referred pain in her shoulder and back. When doctors opened her up to investigate they discovered a 2lb tumour the size of a grapefruit on her diaphragm.
Jean, who has three sons, said: “It’s an honour to be asked to start Race for Life. I’ve been taking part since 2009 and it is always a really good day. But to get up on stage and set all the participants off will be extra special.
“Some people can be cured of cancer and I have been. I know I’m very lucky. I feel very strongly about raising the awareness of research into cancer so that more cures can be found.”
“My children were very young when I first had problems. They were my inspiration to get better. Having cancer did initially change my attitude to life. In the first instance it made me very paranoid every time I had an ache or a pain but I learnt to overcome that and enjoy life and have fun.”
She added: “I know being positive can’t cure you of cancer but having a positive attitude can make a massive difference to how you feel – I’m a big believer in that.”
And Jean, who will be taking part in the event for Cancer Research UK herself, also wants to encourage other over 60s to join her in walking or jogging the course.
“It’s a great day out and you don’t have to run it,” she said. “This year I’ll probably run a bit and walk a bit but I’m determined to get round and stand up to this disease.”
Alison Barbuti, Cancer Research UK’s Cheshire spokeswoman, said: “It’s an achievable challenge and we’re urging women of all shapes and sizes to sign up today and help us to beat cancer sooner. This year, organisers need 3,400 women and girls to rally together to help raise £167,000 for vital research.
“Money raised through Race for Life allows Cancer Research UK’s doctors, nurses and scientists to advance research which is helping to save the lives of more men, women and children affected by cancer.
“Our aim is that one day everyone will beat cancer. The more research we fund, the sooner that day will come.”
The following roads will be closed in Chester City Centre from 8.15am until approximately 10.30am for Race for Life.
Sealand Road/New Crane Street – City Walls Road/Nuns Road to Stadium Way
South View Road – whole length
Raymond Street –Tower Wharf to Canal Street
Canal Street – whole length
Northgate Street – whole length
Upper Northgate Street – The Northgate to Canal Street
Water Tower Street – Canning Street to Northgate Street
St Werburgh Street – whole length
Eastgate Street – whole length
St John Street – whole length
Foregate Street – Eastgate Street to St John Street
Union Street – whole length
Grosvenor Park Road – whole length
Vicars Lane – whole length
Little St John Street – whole length
Souters Lane – whole length
The Groves – Souters Lane to Old Dee Bridge
Handbridge – Lower Bridge Street to Mill Street
Lower Bridge Street – Duke Street to Handbridge
Castle Drive – Little Roodee Car Park to Lower Bridge Street
Whipcord Lane – Catherine Street to South View Road
Princess Street – Northgate Street for a distance of 45 metres in a westerly direction
Hunter Street – Northgate Street for a distance of 45 metres in a westerly direction
Traffic from Sealand Road and New Crane Street should proceed via Deva Link and Parkgate Road
Traffic from Grosvenor Park Road/Union Street/Vicars Lane/ Little St John Street/Pepper Street should proceed via Nicholas Street, St Martins Way and St Oswalds Way