Marham family have honour at Race for Life

Caroline Williamson and children Lucy and Ed get ready for this year's Race for Life at Houghton Hall.
Caroline Williamson and children Lucy and Ed get ready for this year's Race for Life at Houghton Hall.

A Marham brother and sister will be sounding the start horn at West Norfolk’s Race for Life event in honour of their dad who died of cancer last summer.

Lucy, 11, and Ed, 9, Williamson, along with mum Caroline, will kick-start the Cancer Research UK event at Houghton Hall on July 21 in memory of dad and husband Rob, who passed away last August, aged just 40.

The trio will then join more than 2,000 other participants in the event – and are urging others to join them to help conquer cancer sooner

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.

On the day of last year’s Houghton Hall Race for Life, the couple were told the devastating news that there was nothing more doctors could do.

Caroline had already signed up to do the event that evening. She wasn’t sure if she could go through with it, but after a lot of thought she made the courageous decision to take part.

The 39-year-old said: “We dressed up in our outfits and took part. I don’t know how we did it, but we managed it.

“I took the photos to the hospital to show Rob, he knew it was all for him. Within the month he had passed away. He went quicker than expected but he was a fighter, Rob never gave in until the end.”

The Williamsons decided to take part in this year’s event raise more money for vital research that will help cancer patients in future.

Caroline said: “The kids miss daddy massively. They get something out of doing the Race for Life as they know they are doing something positive and love seeing their 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 we need women of all ages, shapes and sizes to join Caroline, Lucy and Ed to help conquer cancer.

“We know that the ladies of Lynn and West Norfolk are up for the challenge so we urge them to sign up now.”

To enter, visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.