A cancer survivor will celebrate her triumph over the disease when she crosses the finish line of West Norfolk’s Race for Life next week.
Emma Todd-Ward is taking on the Cancer Research UK event at Houghton Hall in her ongoing mission to support others battling cancer since going into remission two years ago.
The mother-of-two, 43, who works at Tesco on Lynn’s Hardwick Industrial Estate, will line up for the race next Tuesday with fellow store employee Laura Gathercole.
The 20-year-old has taken part in several Race for Life events since 2011 in memory of her grandad who passed away from bone marrow cancer 14 years ago, and now also runs in honour of Emma since she joined the store last year.
Emma was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February 2012, after being poorly for the whole of 2011.
She completed Race For Life in 2011, despite having a consistent cough which she later discovered was due to a tumour in her chest.
Once diagnosed, Emma underwent six cycles of chemotherapy followed by five weeks of radiotherapy, and complications with her treatment meant she had to commence a three-month course of steroids, too.
She’s now back running this year’s race with her group ‘The Monday Clubbers’.
The ‘Clubbers’ include two of her friends and her sister, who all visited Emma every Monday night while she was having treatment in hospital.
The one club rule was that they would forget about Emma’s illness and enjoy their time together, whether it was throwing a party, dancing to music or having a movie night.
Since receiving the “brilliant news” she was in remission, Emma’s aim has been to support others battling cancer.
For two years, she has run a monthly lymphoma support group in Peterborough involving meeting and helping others suffering from the disease and arranging guest speakers.
She also plans to take part in Race for Life annually from now on and hopes to improve her finish time each year.
Emma said: “I know first-hand how important funds are for continuing research into cancer treatments and a cure. That is why it’s so important to support the Race for Life and get others involved so more people like me can fight and survive the disease.”
Laura has already completed the Race for Life event in Norwich, in May, and the Race for Life Pretty Muddy obstacle event in Peterborough last month, with six other Tesco colleagues.
She said: “Cancer Research UK is a charity very close to my heart. Not only did I lose my grandad to the disease, but I know of many people, like Emma, who have also been affected by cancer. Race for Life is a great way to raise much-needed funds for research into cancer.”
To sponsor the pair visit Emma’s fundraising page at: www.justgiving.com/the-monday-clubbers and Laura’s at: www.justgiving.com/lauragathercole