Hillmorton woman to run Cancer Research Race for Life in honour of her mother

Friends Harriet Beasley, Kate Sawyer and Emma Brown join Lucy Burton (far right) who will start Race for Life in memory of her mother Kerry Burton.
Friends Harriet Beasley, Kate Sawyer and Emma Brown join Lucy Burton (far right) who will start Race for Life in memory of her mother Kerry Burton.

A Rugby student who lost her mother to cancer is set to start Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.

Lucy Burton, aged 20, whose mother struggled with cancer for four times over ten years, first took part in the 5k event with her mum Kerry aged ten, just before Kerry was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time.

Lucy with her mother, Kerry.

Lucy with her mother, Kerry.

After that the pair entered or volunteered at almost every local Race for Life event that followed, despite ongoing treatment.

Kerry, from Hillmorton, was successfully treated for the disease three times over the years before it returned for the fourth and final time in August 2016.

The determined mum of two underwent another 18 months of treatment, even filming herself having chemotherapy to help raise more awareness and funds for Cancer Research UK.

She died on February 13 this year, just before her 47th birthday. In true ‘Kerry’ spirit she insisted her friends and family went ahead with a giant birthday party to celebrate her life and raise more funds for charity including Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance where she worked.

Now Lucy is set to follow in her fundraising footsteps and has already gathered a team of more than 30 friends and family to take part in Race for Life at Dracote Water, Rugby on Saturday, June 23. All money raised will go towards Cancer Research UK’s work to help beat cancer sooner.

Lucy, an events management student at Sheffield Hallam University working on placement in Kenilworth, said: “Without events and fundraising for Cancer Research UK, Mum would have lost her battle years ago so I’m eternally grateful for everyone who works for the charity, carries out the research and fundraises for such a great cause.

“My Mum was honestly my best friend and we did everything, including Race for Life, together. She was the most brave and inspiring person, through her positive attitude towards everything that was thrown her way. Although Mum’s life was cut short, she really did live it to the full and took every opportunity she was given.

“It still breaks me daily that she isn’t here with us and she won’t see me graduate next year or be at any future big moments in our lives - but I know she will be looking down proudly on us all.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding crucial research.

Money raised through Race for Life helps Cancer Research UK to fund long-term research and pioneering trials, leading to new tests and kinder, life-saving treatments.

Paula Young, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Warwickshire, said: “We’d like to thank Lucy and her family along with every woman who laces up her trainers and takes her place at the start line at Race for Life.

“We’d also like to pay a huge tribute to Kerry who faced all that was thrown at her with such down to earth positivity, courage and humour, never once forgetting how she could help others through her volunteering and fundraising.

“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and we couldn’t continue our life-saving work to help beat over 200 types of cancer without the support of the public.

“Our aim is that one day everyone will survive cancer and the more women who Race for Life, the sooner that day will come.”

To enter Race for Life, visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.