MORE THAN 1,500 men, women and children are warming up ready to take part in the Race for Life in Solihull to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
This Sunday (June 16) will mark the first time in the event’s 16-year history that men have been able to join in and there are still places available for anyone who wants to sign up.
Runners at Malvern Park will be sent on their way by cancer patient and Solihull’s Cancer Research UK shop manager Nicola Ridler before joining her colleagues to complete the race.
Nicola is living with incurable bowel cancer and is keen to raise funds for more research as well as demonstrate how life-changing a colostomy bag can be.
Speaking on stage at Birmingham Race for Life last month, Nicola said she’d been given a heart-breaking ultimatum after her diagnosis – have a colostomy bag fitted or risk death within 24 hours.
“I’ve still got stage four bowel cancer but I’m still here, I’m still living a great life.
“And yes, it’s not a life I thought I would be living, but it’s actually a brilliant life. A life where I get to choose and do whatever I want.”
The Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year across the country to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.
Organisers hope the Solihull event alone will raise more than £85,000 for research into more than 200 types of cancer.
Paula Young, spokesperson for Cancer Research UK, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Nicola for her support and we hope her story inspires many more people to join Race for Life.
“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime, but thanks to research, 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 our supporters, Cancer Research UK was able to spend over £10million last year in the West Midlands on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.
“This just wouldn’t be possible without amazing people like Nicola supporting events like Race for Life.
“We want to stress that you don’t need to be sporty to take part, you don’t have to train, and you certainly don’t need to compete against anyone else. These events are about coming together as one to beat cancer. They are colourful, emotional and uplifting and you can even sign up on the day.”
For more information or to enter visit www.raceforelife.org or call 0300 123 0770.