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The daughter of a former Harrogate teacher is encouraging people to Race for Life at Home and carry on the fight against the disease in these unprecedented times.
Normally at this time of year Lisa Millett, 35, who works for Cancer Research UK in the press team, would be getting ready to travel up and down the country to support people diagnosed with cancer at Race for Life.
Race for Life Harrogate was supposed to be taking place on Sunday 12 July on The Stray, but is among events which organisers Cancer Research UK have postponed this spring and summer to protect the country’s health during the coronavirus outbreak.
But as the nation continues on lockdown, undeterred women and men are already vowing to carry on and complete a Race for Life at Home challenge at home, in their garden or their nearest green space.
Everyone has seen their lives turned upside down because of coronavirus. I’m trying to embrace the change and make the most of the extra time with my family, but also try and keep the work of the charity going. Just because normal life has stopped doesn’t mean cancer does.
Lisa’s dad Keith Millett, the former deputy head of Granby High School, died at the age of just 55 in 2004 after a long battle with oesophageal cancer.
As part of her Race for Life at Home challenge Lisa has committed to using her one-hour exercise a day to run or walk with her 18-month-old daughter Ize.
We’ve already seen a wonderful sense of community across the country during this difficult time, but it is particularly hard for people living with cancer. Despite the absence of our normal event season, by signing up to Race for Life at Home challenge we can all help people who are going through cancer right now and in the future.
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 Harrogate, Race for Life participants last year raised around £120,000 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.
Many of the scientists and researchers funded by Cancer Research UK are currently being redeployed to help in the fight against Covid-19, including assisting with testing. By helping to beat coronavirus, the charity can lessen the impact it is having on the care of cancer patients.
Our priority as a charity is ensuring that people affected by cancer are getting the support they need right now.
But we are already getting people asking about doing Race for Life at Home because they don’t want to see the charity lose out on vital funding. It’s truly humbling to see the response.
So from their homes, we’d love for supporters to join us and Race for Life at Home. From a run or 5K walk around the garden to limbo in the living room, there is no wrong way to Race for Life at Home. With no entry fee, people might choose to twerk, limbo, star jump, squat, skip, dance, or come up with their own novel way of taking part and share it with friends. The message is very much that ‘while we might be apart, we’re doing this together’. There is no wrong way to get involved and join our community.
Those lucky enough to have a garden may choose to make use of it but whatever people decide to do, we are immensely grateful for the support, now more than ever. If the idea takes off, we could be looking at hundreds of people across the town stepping forward to Race for Life at Home and perhaps collecting sponsorship to do so.
People can visit raceforlife.org and sign up free for ideas on how they can create their own Race for Life at Home challenge. And the Cancer Research UK Race for Life Facebook page will help people feel energised with weekly live workout sessions. Organisers are also inviting participants to join the Race for Life at Home community by sharing photos and videos on social media using the hashtag, #RaceForLifeAtHome.
Every year 30,500 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire. 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.
We encourage those choosing to Race for Life at Home to participate in whatever way they like and there are lots of ideas on the Race for Life website. We appreciate that the current situation has resulted in financial uncertainty for many people, so people should only contribute sponsor money if they feel able to.
Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies entirely on the public’s generous support. The charity was able to spend over £4 million last year in Yorkshire on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.
A new date for Race for Harrogate has been set for Sunday 11 October 2020.
Visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770. Join in and share with #RaceForLifeAtHome