The mother and daughter duo running together to support cancer research

After losing her mother and father-in-law to cancer, a Preston mum and her daughter are running over 40 miles between them throughout February, to raise money for Cancer Research.

Saturday, 6th February 2021, 2:37 pm

"I want to raise money for more medicine so that people don't have to go to the moon."

Those were the words of four-year-old Lily Smith, who decided she would be running alongside her mum in raising money for cancer research.

When hairdresser Dawn, 32, lost her father-in-law David to cancer in 2018, her auntie, and then her own mum in March 2019, she had told daughter Lily that her "grandparents had gone to the moon".

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Photo Neil Cross; Dawn Blaylock and daughter Lily are running to raise money for Cancer Research

The mum-of-one from St Michael’s On Wyre has now decided to run just over 26 miles throughout February as part of the Marathon Month Challenge, with Lily, four, eager to help out too.

After caring for mum Jennifer through her battle with lung cancer, Dawn wanted to use the third national lockdown as an opportunity to lose weight and raise money for a cause close to her heart.

She said: "There has been a lot of cancer in my family and it is something that has always been very close to me. My grandma passed away with cancer when I was young, then my father-in-law, my uncle and then my mum.

"When my mum was diagnosed, she first had cancer in her lungs, so I stopped working and began caring for her. It then spread to her brain and she was told there was nothing they could do for her.

Lily wanted to run alongside her mum to raise money for the cause

"Lily had seen her a handful of times when she was very ill and growing up she had always been with her grandma. Naturally, they grew very close together and she was spoiled by my mum completely."

Dawn decided that by running to raise money, it would give her the determination she needed to carry on and complete her marathon.

And when she told daughter Lily, she said she wanted to help and has since been running a mile most morning alongside her mum.

Dawn added: "I always wanted to run outside but was never good at it, so when the gyms opened back up I started to do more running and was shocked that I then managed to run a mile before the school run.

Dawn's father-in-law David was also lost to cancer in 2018

"Lily shot up and was so excited to take part in it with me. Every other day she now goes out with me and runs a mile without stopping.

"When she realised I was doing something to help, she couldn't wait to get involved. She is such a caring little girl and always looks after other children in school and is the first to look out for others. It is amazing.

"Whenever she sees the moon at night she blows a kiss to her grandma and grandad and tells them she loves them."

Four-year-old Lily has now raised almost £500 on the Go Fund Me page which will be donated to Cancer Research, along with mum Dawn's fundraiser that has so far racked up £230 in donations.

Dawn's mum and Lily's grandma Jennifer, who passed away to cancer in March 2019

The Marathon Month challenge by Cancer Research encourages participants to run 26.2 miles over the course of the month and raise money for the cause.

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Lily has currently raised almost £500 for cancer research