DETERMINED fundraisers across Devon and Cornwall are set to Race for Life at Home as they refuse to let the fight against cancer falter in these unprecedented times.
Organisers Cancer Research UK have postponed events for this spring and summer to protect the country’s health during the coronavirus outbreak – and this includes the Race for Life events in Exeter, Plymouth, Exeter, Falmouth, Penzance and Stithian’s Showground in Cornwall.
But as the country continues on lockdown, undeterred women and men are already vowing to carry on and complete a Race for Life challenge at home, in their garden or their nearest green space.
Alison Birkett, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the South West, said: “At a time when it feels like everything’s at a standstill, there is one thing that hasn’t stopped - cancer.
“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 this spring because they don’t want to see the charity lose out on vital funding and because they feel that the fight against cancer shouldn’t stop for anything – even coronavirus. 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 in these challenging times. From a walk, jog or run or 5K 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. We could be looking at hundreds of people in Wigan stepping forward to Race for Life at Home and perhaps making a donation to do so.”
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 the town, participants last year raised thousands of pounds 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 that it is having on the care of cancer patients.
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.
“We’d love to see people sharing photos and videos of their ‘at home’ experiences and, through this, we can retain the amazing sense of community and camaraderie that makes Race for Life such a treasured part of the UK’s events calendar.”
Every day 95 people are diagnosed with cancer in the South West of England. 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.
Alison Birkett continued: “Cancer is still happening right now and we want to do everything we can to help give people more tomorrows with their loved ones.
“At a time when we’re having to keep apart from each other, there is still a way to unite. We’re urging everyone who has supported Race for Life in the past to please continue supporting us. Sadly, cancer touches almost every family at some time.
“Race for Life is a hugely moving experience as people remember loved ones lost to cancer, celebrate the lives of those dear to them who have survived or support those going through treatment.
“We encourage those choosing to Race for Life at Home to participate in whatever way they like – 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 £2 million last year in the South West on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research. Researchers in the South West work in partnership between universities including Bristol University and Exeter University, and hospitals including the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Derriford Hospital, Royal Cornwall hospital and Cancer Research UK. By sharing their expertise, researchers and doctors are improving the care of patients across the South West and beyond.
Visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770. Join in and share with #RaceforLifeAtHome