This Sunday sees the return of the Cofton Park Race for Life.
Since it began in 1994, Race for Life has grown each year and has so far raised a staggering £362 million towards research into cancer. Every summer, hundreds of thousands of amazing women from many walks of life, come together to celebrate and share moments of love, friendship and happiness.
Some of the women who take part in Race for Life are cancer survivors, while others walk, jog or run to celebrate or remember the lives of family, friends or loved ones. Others are there simply to do something positive to raise money for a great cause.
Taking part for the first time this year is Traci O’Shaugnessy, a 37 year old dental hygienist from Longbridge. Traci has worked with patients living with or recovering from oral and throat cancer and she says, ” It has always been an important part of my job to screen all my patients for the early signs of oral cancer and it is vital to diagnose and treat this debilitating condition early for a better outcome.”
However, last year the disease hit much closer to home for Traci when her uncle, Christopher was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 59. “This was devastating for us all. My uncle received treatment involving surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. ”
Unfortunately, the treatments, faced bravely, were unsuccessful and Traci’s uncle died peacefully at Rutland Memorial Hospice , near Oakham in January of this year. Traci says, “Chris was very stoic and fought couragously and hard. Through his fight he remained dignified and kept his great sense of humour until the end.”
Traci was inspired to run for her uncle. ” I have never run before and I have decided that this is the year and the reason I will run. Not only for my wonderful uncle and our family, but for all the other people that oral cancer and all other forms of cancer have touched and affected.”
If you don’t know anyone who is running the Race for Life this Sunday, but would like to donate, you can do so via one of the sponsorship pages listed here – there’s my own, Traci’s and those of a few other local women who are doing the race. If you have a sponsor page you’d like us to add, let us have the link in the comments below.
Good luck to all taking part – I’ll see you on Sunday! (going for a lie down in preparation!)