Race for Life 2012: Inspirational Caren joins Leicester runners
An inspirational fund-raiser who only finished chemotherapy two weeks ago was one of the thousands of women taking part in the Race for Life at the weekend.
Caren Whitehead, 45, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and had her last course of treatment two weeks ago.
Despite her recent ordeal she was determined to join in the sea of pink at Western Park on Saturday and complete the 10k Race for Life.
The tenacious runner, from Syston, was with friends and dressed in vivid colours to show her support for the event and raise cash for Cancer Research UK.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
She was one of six women who called themselves the Pink Foxes.
Caren, who works in student accommodation at Loughborough University, said: "I've had six or seven months off work and gone through treatment, but I've just got to get back to normal and keep positive.
"Losing your hair is big shock, but I'm determined to keep going and there was nothing stopping me coming along today."
Also part of Caren's group was 16-year-old Abbie Bradshaw, from Wigston.
The youngster was running in memory of her mum Cheryl Pick, who lost her battle with breast cancer when Abbie was just 10.
Abbie said: "I was very young when she died.
"She was diagnosed and got the all clear but then got it a second time and she wasn't able to beat it.
"I'm doing this run in her memory and to try to raise some money at the same time."
Abbie's auntie, Lynda Bradshaw, 49, from Wigston Fields, said: "Abbie's mum said to me before she died 'I'm going to fight it – I don't care what happens to me, but I'm not leaving the kids'.
"It was so sad, she was so young."
Both Abbie and Lynda had tributes to Cheryl on their T-shirts.
Another fund-raiser was Tracey Paling, 45, from Leicester Forest East, who was part of a group of workers from pharmaceutical company Nova Labs in South Wigston.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 37 and finished her final course of chemotherapy 18 months ago.
She said: "I've been told its gone into remission which is good and I want to show that I'm still as fit as butcher's dog so that's why I'm here today."
The group had raised about £300 in sponsorship for the event.
Runner Jo Whitby was also adamant she would take part in the 10k race on Saturday morning.
The 55-year-old, from Saffron Lane, suffered a stroke in May and lost all the feeling in the right side of body.
However, the dedicated fund-raiser donned her pink wig and made her way round the Western Park circuit in a bid to raise £100 for her daughter-in-law Shelly Haton, 40, who has just finished her last course of chemotherapy for nose cancer.
Jo said: "This isn't the end of me, I may have had a stroke but I'm not going to let it affect my life – I'm going to keep doing exactly what I was doing before.
"I want to raise money for people like Shelly who is about undergo reconstructive surgery on her nose.
"It's a really tough time for her, but I know she's a strong girl."
For more pictures of the event, and runners' stories, turn to pages 12, 13, 14 and 15.