A father-of-four is encouraging other men to offer their time as volunteers at Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.
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The event, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, Half Marathon and Hiking activities which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding crucial research.
Joe Howard, from Ashton, who is a member of Preston Harriers, has volunteered at Race for Life in Preston for more than 15 years.
The retired teacher, who has eight grand-children, never tires of the amazing atmosphere and camaraderie at the event which is held in Moor Park.
Joe lost sister Catherine Savage, who lived in Garstang, to colon cancer 18 years ago, so feels he is “doing his bit” in the fight against the disease.
Race for Life Preston is a family affair as Joe’s younger sister, Angela Hodgson, aged 72, from Fulwood, takes part ever year and walks the 5k course with her daughter in law and grand-daughter.
And Catherine’s surviving twin, Helen Howard, aged 69, flies in every year from her home in Holland to also take part. One year, a 10-strong gang of female family members took part
Meanwhile, Joe’s wife, Marie, stays at home and prepares a celebration buffet to welcome the family back.
Joe said: “Everybody has been touched by cancer in some way. Even though I have been volunteering for 15 years, watching how emotional the women get in the minute’s silence before the event still moves me.”
Cancer Research UK Preston spokesperson, Jane Bullock, said: “Joe’s commitment to Cancer Research UK and Race for Life is inspirational. Without the dedication of the hundreds of volunteers like Joe who give up their time every summer, we would not be able to stage Race for Life events.
“Volunteering at Race for Life is a great way for dads, husbands, sons and brothers to support their loved ones taking part.”
There are many volunteer roles at Race for Life, including at the start and finish, course marshal, back marker, obstacle marshal at Pretty Muddy, enquiries volunteer,
To find out more visit http://www.raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org/about-our-events/volunteer
Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support.
The charity was able to spend more than £28m last year in the North West on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.
Do you have a story to tell? Are you battling cancer and taking part, or are you running in memory of anyone? Email firstname.lastname@example.org