Video: “Walking miracle” Claire Blair urges support for cancer fundraiser

A MOTHER-OF-THREE who continues to defy doctors after being given just weeks to live six years ago is now urging people to support a new television charity event.

Claire Blair was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and given such a poor prognosis that she even began planning her funeral.

But thanks to advances in drug treatments, the 39-year-old former sales officer from Stowupland, near Stowmarket, is still living life to the full, determined to do whatever she can to boost research into cancer.

For the past six years Mrs Blair’s three daughters – Abbi, nine, Lolli, seven, and Micki, six – have raised thousands of pounds by taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.

Mrs Blair took part for the third time this summer despite receiving the devastating news that the cancer had spread further.

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Now Mrs Blair and her family are urging men, women and children to get behind the charity’s latest campaign – a telethon called Stand Up to Cancer aimed at raising vital funds for research.

A host of stars from television, music and film are already supporting Stand Up To Cancer, including Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow, comedian Alan Carr, presenter Davina McCall and Embarrassing Bodies’ Dr Christian Jessen.

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In October, Channel 4’s on-air season will build over a whole week culminating in a live fundraising entertainment extravaganza on October 19.

Until then people can get involved in Stand up To Cancer by purchasing a range of fun products or organising their own fundraising activities to raise money for life-saving research projects.

Mrs Blair said: “I am so grateful for the treatment that has enabled me to see my three girls grow up. Sadly, however, not everyone is that lucky.

“That’s why I want to do all I can to get people in Suffolk to Stand Up To Cancer right now. We need to fight back against this disease by raising money so that brilliant research can be translated into treatments for patients faster.”

Cancer Research UK’s work is behind many important drugs including herceptin, tamoxifen and carboplatin which have saved the lives of thousands of cancer patients.

“Herceptin is the reason I’m still here,” said Mrs Blair. “That’s why I’m passionate about research – without it people like me wouldn’t stand a chance.”

Her oncology nurse at Ipswich Hospital Rachel Clifton called her a “walking miracle”, adding: “She’s had so many setbacks but she’s stayed incredibly positive and just keeps bouncing back.”

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