Hundreds take part in Race for Life

HUNDREDS of women walked, jogged and ran a 5km course in Ipswich to raise money for loved ones affected by cancer.

Simon Tomlinson

HUNDREDS of women walked, jogged and ran a 5km course in Ipswich to raise money for loved ones affected by cancer.

Cancer Research UK's Race for Life was held in Trinity Park yesterday evening to help find ways of tackling the disease.

Many of those taking part have been touched by cancer - either fighting it themselves or because friends and relatives have been affected by it.

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Inspirational grandmother Lesley Back strode out for breast cancer despite undergoing seven rounds of gruelling chemotherapy and recovering from walking 26 miles in the London Moonwalk in May.

The mother-of-two, of Cavendish Street, Ipswich, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, said: “I do the Race for Life every year. It's about always having a goal. It gives you a future. That's quite important.”

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Meanwhile, friends and colleagues of a mother who died from the disease joined forces in her memory.

Jayne O'Donovan - the manager of the motors section in the advertising department at Archant, which publishes The Evening Star and The East Anglian Daily Times - passed away in February at the age of 46.

Lesley Rawlinson, a sales manager in the advertising department, said: “We still miss her every day. We have a lot of pictures of her in the office and we talk about her daily. We are determined to keep her memory alive.”

A family travelled the length of the county to show their commitment to helping fight the disease.

June Debenham, 48, her daughters, Marie, 21, and 16-year-old Joanna, and her sister Christine Havers, all from the Eye area, have relatives battling the condition.

Mrs Havers, 51, said: “We wanted to do our bit for them.”

Also completing the course were Frances Kearn and daughter Megan, 12, who took part in their fourth Race for Life after a close family member was struck by the disease.

Mrs Kearn's father, Graham, 69, was diagnosed 15 years ago, but he has since been in remission.

Mrs Kearn, 39, of Yeoman Way, Hadleigh, said: “It has taken its toll on the family. We have got it hanging over us.

“It is important for us to take part because if anything can be done to solve the problem then hopefully more and more people can survive.”

Around 20 employees from Jackson Civil Engineering in Ipswich also rallied round just a few weeks after their director, Charles Minchin, lost a three-year battle with cancer.

Sarah Jafri, a proposal co-ordinator with the company, said: “It was an extra incentive to take part in the event. It is also a good chance to get together with friends.”

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