Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hand in Hand, It's a Family Triumph

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hand in Hand, It's a Family Triumph

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

Three generations of a North family hit by cancer crossed the finish line hand-in-hand yesterday at the Race for Life in Sunderland.

More than 3,000 women took part in the three-mile race at Herrington Country Park to raise money for Cancer Research UK ( more than twice as many as last year's event.

Among the hundreds of families at the event were cancer survivors Karen, 30, and Kay McGurrell[correct], 27, of Fulwell, Sunderland, who were joined by their mum Margaret and Kay's five-year-old daughter Abigail Harrison[correct].

The McGurrell family suffer from a genetic condition known as Li-Fraumeni's syndrome[correct], which affects only 400 families in the world and increases their risk of developing cancer early in life.

The condition caused Karen to develop ovarian cancer when she was just 14 and Kay, who is seven months pregnant with her second child, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.

The sisters lost their father, John, and his two brothers, Anthony and Kevin, to cancer, but have managed to overcome the disease themselves and were determined to raise as much money for charity as possible at the Race for Life yesterday.

Kay said: "It was a real honour for us to cut the ribbon at the race.

"No-one understands the impact cancer can have on their lives until it happens to them or the real need for money to fund research into life-saving treatments.

"But cancer can affect everyone, whether you are a man or woman, young or old.

"We just want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who took part because it is through events like this that there is money available to help treat people suffering from cancer."

Karen said: "It meant so much to us to take part and it was great to see so many families who have been affected by the disease but who, like us, are determined to show there is life after cancer. …

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