A Preston woman makes an emotional tribute to her mum every year by taking part in the Cancer Research UK Race for Life in Preston.
Karen Hain is gearing up towards her 12th 5k run to honour her mum, Sue Jackson, who lost her battle with breast cancer almost 13 years ago.
The 60-year-old, who lived in North Wales, had found a lump on her breast, but despite undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy, the cancer was very aggressive. She died less than nine months later.
As an emotional tribute to her mum, Karen, who lives in Fulwood, took part in her first Race for Life event just three weeks after her mum passed away.
She now takes part every year to raise vital funds for research.
Karen, who is a partner in chartered accountancy and business advisers Moore and Smalley, says: “When I first started taking part in Race for Life, the Preston course hadn’t been introduced and so I ran the first couple of events in Blackpool.
“Race for Life is brilliant, but such an emotionally charged event and I feel just as upset every year as it marks another 12 months without my mum in my life.
“When she was diagnosed, my mum was a busy vibrant lady and still working. She was a larger than life character and throughout her treatment remained as positive as possible and when she lost her hair, wore glittery, fun wigs.
“She knew myself and my sister Kerry both planned to do Race for Life and was thrilled we wanted to make a difference.
“The fact she died so quickly after being diagnosed was a huge shock for us all.
“Research is absolutely key to making a difference in the fight against this horrible disease.”
Meanwhile nine fund-raisers known as Live Laugh Love will be releasing pink balloons with personal messages at the Pretty Muddy event on Saturday.
Emma Sumner, 33, of Longton, says: “Last year I was proud to be part of a fantastic group of women, who all worked hard both physically and emotionally to help the whole team complete the Pretty Muddy course to raise a fantastic £1,333.55 for Cancer Research UK.
“This year we wanted to beat that, so we have collected personal messages for loved ones who have passed away from cancer from donators and we will put them on balloons which will be released at around 9.30am to 9.45am.
“We all have personal reasons. Last year, my gran, Amy Speak, died of breast cancer aged 92. This will be in memory of her.
“We think it will be a nice thing to do and will raise more money as it will increase donations. It is a nice way to remember people who are no longer with us.”
If anyone wishes to donate and have a personal message on a balloon call Emma on 07960897715.
They can also donate via www.fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/emmas-fundraising-page-2054.
A whole weekend of Race for Life events will be held at Preston’s Moor Park. The 5k Pretty Muddy obstacle course will be held on Saturday June 17 while 5k and 10k traditional Race for Life events will be held on Sunday June 18.
Sign up for Race for Life now at www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.
Online sign-up closes this Friday.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK’s North West spokesman, says: “We still need the women of Preston to sign up and make a difference. Places are available at all three Race for Life events at Moor Park. We need women of all ages and abilities to sign up. It’s the taking part that counts whatever women raise. Just £10 could make a difference in the fight against cancer.”