Preston mum takes on double challenge for cancer charity

Nikki Howarth and her children
Nikki Howarth and her children
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A fundraiser is taking on a double challenge in aid of Cancer Research UK this summer.

Nikki Howard, 36, of Bamber Bridge, Preston, has signed up to next Sunday’s Race for Life 5k run and the Pretty Muddy 5k event in July.

Race for Life logo

Race for Life logo

Mum-of-four Nikki, who helps out at Sunny Days Nursery, said she wants to show her children that everyone can make a difference no matter how small.

Nikki’s Auntie Clare Downey, a respected teacher who wrote the curriculum for schools in Jersey, was originally from Preston.

She had lived in Jersey with husband John Downey and their two children Lauren and Stefan, who were 20 and 22 at the time, but returned home to Preston to be treated after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2004.

Clare first discovered something was wrong when she borrowed her husband’s car in summer 2004 and found she couldn’t press the clutch. A scan of her ankle showed no problems, but then in December 2004 a scan of her brain picked up the tumour. Clare returned home to Preston and was treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy at Preston Royal Hospital but sadly passed away on Christmas Day in 2005 aged just 55.

After watching my Auntie lose her battle to a devastating brain tumour, I wanted to help raise funds and awareness for sufferers and also the families it affects too.

Nikki Howard

Nikki said: “After watching my Auntie lose her battle to a devastating brain tumour, I wanted to help raise funds and awareness for sufferers and also the families it affects too.

“My uncle and cousins were so brave and strong.

“Since my auntie’s death Uncle John has remarried. His second wife Jean is a wonderful woman, who sadly lost her husband, Barry, to a brain tumour too two years before Auntie Clare – so he’ll be in my thoughts too.

“I also lost a close friend to cancer, my neighbour Rick Rogerson, married to Isobel Rogerson last year. Rick and Isobel were soul mates and Rick was a gentleman.

“I want to raise money to help support sufferers and their families.”

Nikki will be cheered on by her four children Esmie, 8, Eryn, 7, Luke, 5, and four-year-old Faith on the big day and is looking forward to them greeting her at the finish line. Eryn has been accompanying her Mum by cycling with Nikki on training runs too.