How we won our own Race for Life: pair of survivors issue rallying cry

A Brinklow couple who both survived cancer are urging women to make a stand against the disease by joining Cancer Research UK's Race for Life. Liz Watts from Brinklow will be taking part in the Rugby Cancer Research UK event for the fourth time this year with husband Maurice proudly cheering her on from the sidelines.
A Brinklow couple who both survived cancer are urging women to make a stand against the disease by joining Cancer Research UK's Race for Life. Liz Watts from Brinklow will be taking part in the Rugby Cancer Research UK event for the fourth time this year with husband Maurice proudly cheering her on from the sidelines.

A BRINKLOW couple who both survived cancer know first hand how Race for Life can mean fewer people die from the disease.

Maurice and Liz Watts are urging women to make a stand against the disease by joining the Cancer Research UK event in Rugby.

Liz will be taking part in the Rugby Cancer Research UK event for the fourth time this year with her husband proudly cheering her on from the sidelines.

Maurice was lucky to survive bowel cancer in 1995 when surgeons removed his tumour in the nick of time.

If it had been left much longer it would have perforated his intestine.

He underwent six weeks of chemotherapy but continued work as a draftsman at Peugeot throughout his treatment.

Then, in May 2011, Liz was shocked to discover she had advanced breast cancer and needed a full mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and reconstruction.

She was given the drug herceptin for 12 months and finished treatment in December 2012.

“I was called back after my routine mammogram but it never occurred to me it would be cancer,” said Liz, who has since retired from her teaching job at Binley Woods Primary School.

“I didn’t feel poorly and I was still quite fit so I was shocked to discover that I had three advanced tumours.

“Just after Maurice was diagnosed with his cancer we were told our son Andrew had type one insulin-dependent diabetes so it was horrendous for us as a family.

“But we’d come through all that so my diagnosis was a real shock.”

Liz and Maurice have teamed up with Cancer Research UK to encourage women to take part in Race for Life events across the region.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in partnership with Tesco is an inspiring women-only series of 5k or 10k events which raise millions of pounds every year to help defeat cancer by funding life-saving research.

The pair are issuing the rallying cry – “cancer, we’re coming to get you!” - to mums, daughters, sisters, grandmas and friends, encouraging them to sign up.

Liz will be joining women to complete 5k at Rugby School on Sunday, July 21, but women can also enter 5k and 10k Race for Life events at Stoneleigh Park in Coventry on Sunday, June 30.

“I want people to know that it doesn’t matter how fit you are - anyone can take part in Race for Life,” said Liz who has raised more than £600 taking part in the event over the years.

“It’s a big party atmosphere and even women undergoing treatment do it.

“Maurice and I know from experience just how important research is but there are over 200 cancers so every penny counts.”

To enter Race for Life visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.