Fundraisers in the pink at Race for Life event

Caroline Williamson, with children Lucy and Ed, will be sounding the start horn at Houghton Hall's Race for Life in memory of dad Rob.
Caroline Williamson, with children Lucy and Ed, will be sounding the start horn at Houghton Hall's Race for Life in memory of dad Rob.

The scenic grounds of Houghton Hall will turn into a sea of pink tonight as thousands take on the Race for Life in the fight against cancer.

Around 2,000 women will be out to make a difference when they take part in the 5km event in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Sounding the start horn at the race will be Marham woman Caroline Williamson and her children Lucy, 11, and Ed, 9, whose husband and dad Rob passed away from brain cancer last August, aged just 40.

It will be an emotional moment for the family as on the day of last year’s Houghton Hall Race for Life, they found out his condition was terminal.

Rob, who was an engine mechanic at RAF Marham, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2007 but defeated the disease. Six years later, the cancer returned and a brain tumour was diagnosed. Rob finished his treatment but started to feel ill again, and in July last year a second brain tumour was found.

Caroline had already signed up to take part in last year’s event, and made the courageous decision to still go through with it in honour of Rob.

At tonight’s event she will also be speaking about her husband on stage, before taking part in the race with Lucy and Ed and a team of 18 other adults and children.

She said: “It will be a difficult day as it will bring back many memories, but we will have lots of friends and family with us.

“The kids are really looking forward to it. They get a real sense of pride and are excited when they see the fundraising totals go up.”

Caroline will be taking on the 5km distance wearing a pink whoopee cushion outfit as she knows it will make her children smile.

She said: “You hope it will help other people, that’s why you do it, you do it in his name but you want to stop other people going through all the awful things Rob went through. If I could do that I’d dress up in a whoopee cushion every day.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a women-only series of 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events which raises millions of pounds every year. Boys under the age of 12 can also take part.

Danielle Glavin, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Norfolk, said: “Every hour, around three people are diagnosed with cancer in the East. That’s why events like Race for Life are so important in helping us to conquer cancer.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor Caroline, Lucy and Ed can visit their fundraising web page: www.justgiving.com/carolinewilliamson