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Great grandmother completes special challenge in memory of son

Connie Fouracre, an 89-year-old great grandmother from Cwmavon, has done a special 5k walk in her local town in memory of her son who died of cancer.

A supergran who has eight grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, completed her own special 5k Race for Life walk challenge in memory of her son who died of cancer. The great grandmother is now inspiring people to unite against the disease by taking part in a unique Race for Life weekend this September.

Constance Fouracre, 89, completed the walk in her local village of Cwmavon, near Port Talbot last weekend to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK in honour of her son Christopher Fouracre who was just 63 when he died from oesophageal cancer in October 2018.

Constance 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 do my own Race for Life challenge for Chris and for all those going through cancer.”

Constance, was hoping to take part in the Cancer Research UK Race for Life 5K at Museum Green, Swansea on Sunday July 19 with family and friends. She led four generations of her family who raised more than £800 last year. The Swansea Race for Life is among events which organisers Cancer Research UK have postponed this spring and summer to protect the country’s health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Undeterred by the cancellation, Connie as she is known, was surrounded by friends and family and together they crossed the handmade finish line to raise an incredible £1,000. Connie’s daughter Debbie Lewis, and Chris’s daughters Lucy Fouracre and Leanne Hurley helped to organise the day.

Debbie said “It was such a lovely day, we loved Race For Life last year and we wanted to recreate the event as much as we could, so we all wore our pink T-shirts, we bought medals, had balloons and even a collection bucket”

“We were really blown away by the support we had, people put money in the bucket or donated online, it was really touching to see. Mam was amazing, she walked all the way and just did a little run at the end to celebrate”

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.

The charity is expecting a staggering £160 million drop in income in the year ahead with a £44 million cut to life-saving research funding already.

Now to help tackle the devastating loss, undeterred women and men are vowing to raise funds by completing their own Race for Life 5K in their nearest green space on Saturday September 26th. They plan to take part outdoors either alone or in small, socially distanced groups – but all on the same day – to help people with cancer. Supporters can visit raceforlife.org and sign up free for a “Very 2020 Race for Life.”

Constance added “It upset me to hear that vital cancer research has been delayed this year. Now as lockdown eases, I wanted to put something back. Even though it was a very different experience to last year, nothing is going to stop me raising money to help beat cancer. I want to reach out to people going through cancer right now, to show that while we may all still be apart, we can unite with a common goal to fund life-saving research.”

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

Thanks to the generosity of people across Wales, Race for Life participants last year raised £900,000 to support vital research to develop gentler and more effective treatments for cancer – a disease that will affect one-in-two people in the UK at some stage in their lives.

A live broadcast on the Cancer Research UK Race for Life Facebook page at 9.30am on Saturday September 26th, will include an energiser from a fitness expert as well as inspirational messages of support from people who have been through cancer. Participants are then free to set off on their own Race for Life. Organisers are also inviting participants to share photos and videos on social media using the hashtag, #Very2020RaceForLife.

Around 19,500 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in Wales*. But the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity currently funds around 50 per cent of all publicly funded cancer research in the UK. However, as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, promising projects which could have the big answers to cancer are being held up.

Cassandra Miles continued: “Cancer is still happening right now, and we won’t let 2020 stop us.

“Vital cancer research has been delayed this year. Even though we have to Race for Life differently in 2020, nothing’s going to stop us running, walking or jogging to raise money and help beat cancer. Whatever the hurdle, we’ll keep going and we’d urge as many people as possible in Wales to join us for a Very 2020 Race for Life on September 26.

“People can set off from their home to complete 5K their way that day. Whether people are taking part in Race for Life this September in their local park or even in their back garden, they’ll be united by a determination to beat cancer together. This is going to be a very 2020 Race for Life but together we will still beat cancer.”

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies entirely on the public’s generous support. The charity was able to spend nearly £4 million last year in Wales on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.