Two St Helens shop workers are limbering up to take on the Race For Life in memory of relatives who succumbed to cancer.
Andrea Illidge, the manager of Girl Talk in Church Square, and Rachel Bates, who works alongside her, will both be taking on the challenge at Haydock on July 13.
Andrea, of Sutton, lost her maternal grandfather Peter Rigby to prostate cancer in 2007, while Rachel’s dad died from bowel cancer.
Andrea said: “When my grandfather was first diagnosed the doctors said he would only probably live five years - but he survived for 10.
“He died in July 2007 and then my gran died in St Helens Hospital later that year - she had several strokes and was basically pining for my granddad.
“Not long after my mum found she had a cancerous lump on the side of her nose and had to have an operation to remove it. The doctors took skin from behind her ear to cover the patch and she does seem now to be fully recovered.
“So I am really running the Race for Life for cancer research because it’s affected my family and some of my friends as well.”
Thousands of women are expected to take part in the annual Race For Life event, organised by Cancer Research UK.
It will be the second time Andrea and Rachel have taken part, and they plan to try and beat their time from 2012, when they entered wearing fairy wings and fancy dress!
Rachel, 32, whose dad Alan, a psychiatric nurse, died last summer, said: “We did the first Race for Life in 2012, after he had been diagnosed, but he was very poorly last year and I didn’t feel able.
“He underwent radiotherapy but the cancer spread throughout his body and he died last August.”
g See next week’s Reporter for pictures from Race for Life.
Church Square Shopping Centre manager Steven Brogan said: “I know our customers are always very supportive of charity efforts by the many people who work at the centre.
“Andrea and Rachel are to be congratulated on their fund-raising efforts and I wish them every success on the day.”