Why we take part in the Race for Life in Sheffield

Family: Cheryl Malone, 52, with daughter Bethany Malone, 21, who is running the Race for Life.
Family: Cheryl Malone, 52, with daughter Bethany Malone, 21, who is running the Race for Life.
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MORE than 5,000 women are gearing up to turn Sheffield pink when they take part in the city’s Race for Life.

Many of those who are will line up on Arundel Gate on Sunday have been inspired by personal struggles with cancer - or know someone who has been touched by the horrible disease.

Organisers hope the 5km women-only event will raise more than £320,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Nurse Kay Gabbitas, aged 44, from Oughtibridge, is part of a team of 20 health workers taking part from Northern General Hospital’s Robert Hatfield 6 ward.

Kay, who is now clear of breast cancer after she was diagnosed in September 2008 and recently celebrated the birth of her first grandson Rylie, said: “I found the lump by chance when I came back from holiday.

“The hardest thing was telling my two daughters who were 18 and 11 at the time.”

Her daughters - Jade, now 22, and Amelia, 15 - will be walking with Kay on Sunday.

Also taking part is Bethany Malone, 21, from Gleadless, whose mum Cheryl, 52, was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2010. Cheryl is currently undergoing treatment and doing well.

Bethany, who works for Sky, said: “When my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, the number of people affected was countless.

“It devastated our family and left us so scared of how we might have to cope without her. “Thanks to the great care and knowledge of the medical staff and technology, my mum is a survivor.”

Tragically, Bethany and her family have been hit twice by cancer. Last year she lost her grandfather Patrick to prostate cancer.

She said: “This pushed my determination to improve lives further. I hope one day, if enough people take part, lives like that of my grandad could be saved or at least prolonged.

“If I can inspire just one more person to take part, or sponsor someone, I would feel all the efforts would be justified.”

Jade Styan, a firefighter at Cudworth fire station in Barnsley, will be running with seven other female fire officers - all wearing full kit. She said: “We feel Cancer Research is such an important charity that needs funds to help beat cancer. “Unfortunately cancer is a part of so many lives - affecting those who are directly involved but also their family and friends.”

Jenny Key, Race for Life event manager for Sheffield, said: “Looking at all the signs women wear at the event, declaring why they are taking part in Race for Life, is a very emotional experience.

“I feel so proud and grateful to everyone who is taking part and to all the family, friends and colleagues who are supporting them.”

n There is still time to join in on Sunday - entries close at midnight tonight. To sign up go to www.raceforlife.org.uk or call 0871 641 1111.

n Buy The Star on Monday for an eight-page Race for Life pictures supplement.