A Lancaster woman whose mum is battling cancer is making a stand against the disease by taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.
And Karen Bargh, aged 43, wants every woman from Lancaster to join her.
The teacher, from Bolton-le-Sands, whose mum was diagnosed with breast cancer six months ago, is urging women of all ages to join her in the event.
Every hour, around four people are diagnosed with cancer in the north west.
Karen said: “It was a terrible shock when mum was diagnosed with cancer, we just couldn’t believe it was happening to her.”
Karen’s mum, Shirley Bargh, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012.
When Shirley, 70, found a lump in her left breast she went along to see her GP immediately.
She was referred to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary for further tests – and it was there that Shirley and her husband John were given the terrible news.
In December 2012, Shirley underwent surgery to have the lump removed.
And in January this year she began chemotherapy treatment, which is ongoing.
Karen, who teaches English at a secondary school in Cumbria, said: “Mum and dad had been away on holiday to celebrate their ruby wedding anniversary, and the day after they got back we found out mum had cancer. We were all completely devastated.
“But mum has been amazing throughout and is coping really well with everything.”
Karen, who has a daughter Jessica, 15, is looking forward to taking part in the Race for Life this year.
She said: “Not only do I want to do something to support my mum, I also want to do something that will challenge me – so I felt like Race for Life would be the perfect event to get involved with.”
While Karen runs Race for Life, her daughter Jessica and mum Shirley plan to walk their way round the course.
Karen added: “Taking part in Race for Life is my way of fighting back against cancer. I’m so grateful for the research that has helped my mum and now I want to help others by supporting Cancer Research UK’s work.”
Liz Booth, Cancer Research UK’s Lancaster events manager, said: “Please join Karen and play your part by entering Race for Life in Lancaster.
“There are more than 200 cancers and we won’t give up until we find cures for them all.”
Last year, 820 women took part in Race for Life in Lancaster. This year, organisers need 900 women and girls to stride out to help raise £40,000 for vital research.
Liz added: “Race for Life is an amazing way to celebrate life but also remember those who have been lost to the disease.
“Participants may be decked out in pink or fancy dress but what’s inescapable is the power and strength that comes from thousands of women joining together to confront cancer.
“Race for Life is non-competitive. It doesn’t matter how fit or fast you are. Taking part is about joining together against a disease that affects all of us. You can walk the 5k route, run it or jog it if you prefer.
“Please take the first step by signing up today.”
To enter Race for Life, which is being held at Lancaster University on Sunday, July 14, go to www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.