Sheffield medic and 70-year-old mum complete 15 mile race for hospitals

Helen Young, right, and mum Yvonne Twelvetree.Helen Young, right, and mum Yvonne Twelvetree.
Helen Young, right, and mum Yvonne Twelvetree.
While many Sheffield residents would have been tempted to hibernate at home last weekend, a city medic was taking on a freezing 15-mile run to raise funds for the cancer charity which helped her through recovery last year.

Helen Young, a podiatrist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, completed the Sheffield Round route in just over three hours on Saturday morning, accompanied by her 70-year-old mum Yvonne Twelvetree.

Totley resident Helen, 47, said: “We were really lucky with the weather, it could have been awful. Between the ice and the mud it still went from one extreme to the other.

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“It was a real challenge but good fun, and a few friends popped up along the route to cheer us on from a distance.”

She added: “We were actually supposed to do the run on Sunday, but I got a Covid vaccination appointment on Saturday afternoon so we had to rearrange it quickly.

“I wasn’t going to cancel though. All charities are going through a hard time at the moment, and this one has been especially important to me and helps so many other people affected by cancer.”

The pair have so far raised more than £1,500 for Cavendish Cancer Care, a Sheffield charity which offers professional advice, counselling and therapy to support medical treatment.

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Helen, who is married with two children, was diagnosed with breast cancer last January, having first discovered a lump on Christmas Eve 2019.

She said: “It shows just how important it is for women my age to check their breasts. When I got my diagnosis, shock took over.

“Luckily I was able to get a mammogram almost straight away then surgery in February, so it was done before Covid really hit – but then I was told I must start chemotherapy in March.

“It was terrifying to face that in the middle of the pandemic but thankfully it didn’t affect my treatment. My husband, Craig, couldn’t come into the appointments with me, and there seemed to be a new protocol every week but the team at Weston Park were superb.”

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She added: “That was where Cavendish was great with advice on what to eat and how to sleep better. They have a hub in the Moor Market offering services for worries like finance and mental health. They even had advice on where to go when the wig shops were shut.

“Throughout the lockdowns the charity has been running online wellbeing courses and Zoom cafés for people to meet up and talk. Cancer can be very isolating and that loneliness could be even worse now.”

Helen navigated her way through six rounds of chemotherapy which ended in late summer, and she has since been given the all-clear, although she will be on medication for several years which leaves her tired and with aching joints.

Normally a keen runner, for most of the year Helen was restricted to dog walking as a way to keep fit and take her mind off everything.

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Once the PICC line used for chemotherapy was removed from her arm in September, she began gradually getting back on the road with the NHS Couch to 5K training programme and encouragement from friends at Totley AC Running Club and Yvonne, who has run for Team GB in senior events.

Helen said: “We decided that 15 miles was a good goal. It was the longest run I’d done in a while, but I figured that for every mile I’d raised another £100, and that was a fantastic feeling.”

To add to Helen’s fundraising total, go to