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Determined supporters help to beat cancer at Swansea Race for Life

A SEA of pink filled Singleton Park for the return of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life event in Swansea.

More than 700 people united against cancer for the 3K, 5K and 10k events, which were cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

One of the participants was 90-year-old Connie Fouracre who completed the 5K event alongside her family.

The event was particular poignant for Connie from Port Talbot as it took place on the birthday of her late son, Christopher, who sadly died from oesophageal cancer in 2018.

89 year old Connie Fouracre (right) with L-R granddaughters Lucy and Leanne and daughter Debbie at RFL Swansea

Connie, who has eight grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, said: “It was the worst moment of my life to watch my son pass away.

“I think about him every single day. I wanted to take part in Race for Life for Chris and for all those battling through cancer.”

The sprightly pensioner says she has no fitness regime but stays healthy by going up and down the stairs, pottering in the garden and going shopping.

Connie’s Daughter, Debbie Lewis, said: “We walked all the way around and we are always the last to finish but it’s such an emotional and worthwhile event to be a part of.”

Connie, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday, is a bit of a local celebrity after appearing in one of the charity’s adverts and receiving a special mention on the Pride of Britain awards for her fundraising efforts.

Debbie said: “We are very proud of her. The event took place on what would have been my brother’s birthday so it has been even more meaningful this year.”

Money raised will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, saving lives as the charity fights back from the impact of the pandemic.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, which has been in partnership with Tesco for 20 years, is an inspiring series of 3K, 5K, 10K, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.

Sadly, the charity’s Pretty Muddy events didn’t take place yesterday due to severe weather and the condition of the park following previous events.

Money raised through the event series funds world-class research to help beat 200 types of cancer – including bowel cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer, brain cancer, children’s cancers and leukaemia.

This year, participants will set off on the Race for Life course either alone or in small, socially distanced groups. Hand sanitiser will also be provided with participants encouraged to use it before and after the event.

Ruth Amies, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for Wales, said: “Race for Life offers the perfect opportunity for people to run, walk or jog and raise money for life-saving research. We know that 2020 was a year like no other and we had to overcome many challenges thrown our way during the global pandemic.

“But this past year proves, more than any other, the value of investing in science and medical research and what can be achieved by working together. Just like science is our route out of the pandemic, science is our route to beating cancer. We are absolutely determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.

“All 400 mass participation Race for Life events across the UK were cancelled last year to protect the country’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic. So this year, more than ever, we have been so grateful to those who have taken part.”

Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Cancer Research UK’s work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has been at the heart of the progress that has seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.

Cancer Research UK was able to spend around £4 million in Wales last year on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.