Runners of all abilities are playing their part in beating cancer by urging women to sign up to Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in Chester.
Breast cancer survivor Nathalie Rees and members of the Chester Road Runners Club are lacing up their trainers as they issue the rallying cry: “If we can do it, you can too!”
The runners, some of whom have only just been bitten by the running bug, are hoping to inspire local ladies of all shapes and sizes to follow their lead and sign up at www.raceforlife.org for Race for Life Chester 5k on Sunday, July 9.
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, Marathon and Hiking events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding vital research.
Part of the gang is Nathalie Rees, aged 47, from Hoole, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012.
After finding a lump in her left breast she had visited the GP and was referred for tests to the Countess of Chester Hospital.
She and her husband David then received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. Nathalie underwent a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy treatment.
Nathalie, who works at Wrexham Glyndwr University, was also referred to Clatterbridge Hospital for six weeks of radiotherapy treatment.
One of the hardest challenges following the diagnosis, was telling their daughter Rebecca, who was aged 12 at the time.
But Nathalie made a good recovery following treatment and even completed a marathon just four months after finishing her treatment.
Since then she has completed countless running events, including an incredible 14 marathons and has raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK and other charities.
Nathalie said: “It was a huge shock when I was diagnosed with cancer. Our experience as a family means we understand all too clearly why Cancer Research UK’s work is so important.
“We are proud to join the fight at Race for Life. We’re proof that women of all ages and abilities can take on the challenge. There’s an event to suit everyone - it’s not about pounding the pavements or racing to the finish line; it’s about coming together to beat cancer sooner.”
See our pictures from last year's Chester Race for Life:
The charity’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend over £23 million last year in the North West on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research - helping more men, women and children survive.
Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West Jane Bullock said: “By taking part in Race for Life, women in Chester can help raise funds for crucial research and make a real difference in the fight against cancer.
“Participants can choose to walk, jog or run around the course. Whether they’re planning a 5k amble with friends, a 10k sprint or a mud-splattered dash around the Pretty Muddy obstacle course, it’s not about being first over the finish line - it’s the taking part that counts.
“Every step participants take together will help to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Money raised - whether it’s £20 or £200 - will help Cancer Research UK scientists find new ways to treat cancer and save more lives.”
One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Survival rates have doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.
Jane continued: “Every day, around 110 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West. That’s why we need women in Chester to pull on their leggings, limber up and join like-minded ladies committed to the cause. It’s time to unite, join the fight and help beat cancer sooner.”
To enter Race for Life today visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.