THE determination to carry out a physical challenge despite being diagnosed with cancer has spurred her two daughters to tackle a test of their own.

Barbara Lightowler was given the bad news at Christmas that she had stage four cancer, just a matter of years after overcoming breast cancer.

But she is refusing to let her illness get in the way of her partaking in this year's A Very 2020 Race for Life, as she plans to walk 5km.

She and her family are regular participants in the annual Race for Life at the Sheepmount in Carlisle, and her daughters Sarah Renton and Helen White have been inspired to take on a tough challenge of their own throughout September after being spurred on by their mothers' strong resolve.

Mrs Renton, 40, from Keswick, said: “My mum rang me up one day and said I’ve got to do the Race for Life and we were a bit taken aback because obviously with the chemotherapy she’s getting really tired.

“To walk 5K would be quite a challenge but she said she’s determined she’s going to walk it.

“We said you’ve got five grandchildren, they could each walk one km with you and we thought she would do one km every day, but she’s determined she’s going to do 5Kand going to do it all in one day. So me and my sister thought if mum is doing that challenge, and it is a big challenge for her, we should probably set ourselves a challenge too. So we are running 5K everyday throughout September.”

After doing the Race for Life in the past, the family have noticed the adverts on television for the Very Race for Life. Cancer Research UK is encouraging people to sign up to a 5k event on September 26, called ‘A Very 2020 Race for Life’, and raise money for life-saving research.

As the mass Race for Life event series has been cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event on September 26 asks people to complete their own 5K in local parks or neighbourhoods. Participants are invited to take part by themselves or in socially distanced small groups.

A live stream will be hosted on the Race for Life Facebook page from 9.30am on September 26.

The challenge has being going well so far for the sisters and they’ve gained a lot of support.

Mrs Renton said: “Sometimes it’s hard trying to fit it in but lots of our friends are joining us and that’s really helping when people are coming and joining us on the runs and supporting us. The fact that mum is so determined inspires us when we are running. She’s amazing, she’s so positive and so determined and she’s tackling everything with that really positive attitude which is really good.”

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