Mum-of-two Sarah Shaw from Garstang, whose husband, Chris, was recently diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma - a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue - was chosen as VIP guest to kick off Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at Moor Park.
It was an emotional moment as she sounded the horn to send her children Ryan, 10 and Amy, six alongside hundreds of other little ones on the Pretty Muddy Kids course.
She said: “It’s thanks to advances in research that Chris’s treatment is able to happen and keep him here with us. I’ve been doing Race For Life for a few years now but this is the children’s first time and has a special meaning as daddy has cancer at the moment."
Sarah’s husband was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in January after discovering a swelling on his calf muscle. Tests confirmed it was also in his lymph nodes and both thighs and secondary in his hip and pelvis bone.
The 37-year-old dairy farmer is now on his fifth round of chemotherapy as part of a two-year treatment plan which also involves radiotherapy and targeted therapy.
Sarah, who works as a nurse in a care home added: “We thought Chris just had a blood clot but then we were told the worst news.
"We are at the beginning of our journey and I hope and pray on a miracle that my husband heals, and we ring that bell in remission.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 3k, 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.
Every year around 44,900 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West.
Jemma Humphreys Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the North West, said: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took part in Race for Life Preston.
“The atmosphere at Race for Life Preston was hugely moving. Now we’re asking everyone who took part to return the money they’re raised as soon as possible.
The event, which saw over 2,000 people take part, has raised £48,000 and counting.