Relay for Life 2010

JUST as Linda Furnival was preparing to mark a decade of being free from cancer, she was diagnosed with the condition for a second time.

Now living with terminal breast cancer, the former Rolls-Royce worker is only too acutely aware of how it can impact on your life.

Which is why the mum of two took part in the survivors' lap of honour to kick-off the weekend's 24-hour Relay For Life, in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Linda, of Littleover, said: "I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998 and had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

"Then I crossed my fingers and hoped everything would be fine. And I was for 10 years.

"It was just coming up to the anniversary and I was thinking about how I might celebrate, when I got the news that I had secondary breast cancer.

"I had chemotherapy again and I'm now receiving Herceptin, but it's terminal."

Linda was among about 30 people who have previously fought off cancer who took part in the first lap of the Relay For Life.

Joining her were Helen Thornton and Ann Morris, both members of the Derby Breast Cancer Support Group.

Helen, of Sinfin, got a team of 20 people under the banner of Helen's Heroes to take part in the relay.

People take it in turns to run, jog or walk around the track at Moorways, in Allenton. In total, about 300 people signed up to take part, raising more than £37,000. 

The relay started at 11am on Saturday and finished at the same time yesterday. At least one team member must be on the track at all times.

At 10pm on Saturday night, a Candle of Hope ceremony took place in memory of loved ones lost. Helen, 53, was diagnosed with breast cancer 19 years ago and had a mastectomy. She has been clear since. 

The mum of two, who works at importing firm Richard Langs, in Alfreton Road, Derby, said: "It has a such huge impact on your life."

She said that shortly after she had been diagnosed, she split up with her husband. "I had to bring up my children on my own. They were a great support."

Helen's daughter, Amanda, 28, was by her side at the Relay For Life. 

Another survivor there was former gardener Ann Morris, of Spondon. She battled breast cancer in 1995 and a brain haemorrhage in 2000. 

The 66-year-old, who has taken part in each of the survivors' laps since 2005, said: "It's very emotional. You think of friends you've lost, but it's also a celebration of life, marking another year that you are still here."

Organiser Steven Kew said the event was a great success. "All the teams kept going for the 24 hours and the atmosphere was fantastic."


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