A BLACKBURN mum, who battled breast cancer, is pledging to take part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life this year as she calls on local women to sign up this January and join the fight against the disease.

Fran Gallagher, 40, from Witton, stands proudly with her sign declaring her personal motivation for registering for the Race for Life 5k event at Witton Park, Blackburn, on Wednesday 27 June.

Now, the mum-of-two is encouraging women to follow her lead and sign up at

Until 31 January, East Lancashire women are being offered 30% off entry fees for Race for Life 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, Pretty Muddy Kids, Half Marathon and Hike events – so it’s a great time for local ladies to commit to taking part.

Fran, a teaching assistant at Griffin Park Primary School, said: “I’m so proud to sign up to Race for Life in 2018. Last year I took part during my treatment and walked some of the way round so this year I’m looking forward to taking part again not I’m feeling a bit fitter and have finished my cancer treatment.”

Fran was diagnosed with breast cancer in January last year (2017), after spotting a lump in her right breast.

She said: “I felt a lump. I’d regularly check so I knew it wasn’t normal for me and tests at Burnley General Hospital confirmed I had breast cancer on January 24. It was stage one, grade three.

Fran was treated with a lumpectomy, a type of surgery, to remove the tumour, followed by six rounds of chemotherapy. During this time she was treated with four chemotherapy drugs including docetaxel which Cancer Research UK scientists helped to develop.

Fran then had radiotherapy which finished in October 2017. She’s now taking the drug tamoxifen and will continue to do so for 10 years. Cancer Research UK scientists played a leading role in running clinical trials that proved the efficacy of tamoxifen.

Fran, who has a daughter Chloe, aged 20, and a two-year-old son Logan, as well as a new grandson Vinny, who is nearly one, said her family had been really supportive.

She said: “Having my little boy and my grandson has kept me on my toes. Luckily I didn’t feel sick with the chemotherapy and I had a lot of family support. I wasn’t too tired but I used to go to bed when Logan slept.

“I’d rather not have had cancer but I count myself as one of the lucky ones because they removed my lump with clear margins.

“My attitude was the treatment had to be done so I’d get through it. I spent my time during chemo reading Facebook and magazines and I took selfies of myself to document my treatment and raise awareness.

“I signed up to do last year’s Race for Life Witton Park last summer (2017) when I was part way through my treatment as I liked to keep busy and stay focused.

“I had to have a rest and walk a lot of the course but I did it with loads of friends and family so it was a nice event.

“There were about 50 of us in total including my friends, family and children and we raised £420 for Cancer Research UK.

“We celebrated afterwards at the Witton Pub afterwards and it was a really good evening. I lost my Aunty, Maureen Entwistle, to lung cancer when she was aged 70 so I know how important research is to find more cures. I’ve also raised £570 for East Lancashire Hospice where my Aunty was cared for.”

Fran added: “My experience means I understand all too clearly why Cancer Research UK’s work is so important. I’m so excited to take part in Race for Life and join a formidable force of women who are so motivated to help raise money and make a difference.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, Half Marathon and Hiking events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding crucial research.

Sarah Hunter, Cancer Research UK’s Blackburn Event Manager, said: “We are very grateful to Fran and little Logan for their support.

“By following their lead, and signing up to Race for Life, women in Blackburn can make a real difference in the fight against cancer. Money raised will help Cancer Research UK scientists and doctors find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, helping save more lives.

“Taking part in Race for Life is a hugely moving experience – full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter – as people come together to remember loved ones lost to cancer, celebrate the lives of those dear to them who have survived or support those going through treatment. By joining like-minded ladies committed to the cause, local women can unite against a disease that affects us all in some way.”

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, 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.

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend over £28 million last year in the North West on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research – helping more men, women and children survive the disease.

Sarah continued: “Every day, 110 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West *. That’s why we need women in East Lancashire to sign up to Race for Life this January and join mothers, daughters, sisters and friends at the start line when events kick off this summer.

“Money raised through Race for Life is helping to drive research to help beat over 200 different types of cancer – that’s why every step, every person and every penny raised counts.”

 To enter Race for Life today visit or call 0300 123 0770.

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