GREAT REASON FOR GREAT RUN

Elaine Hudson and Sarah Scott, who are running the Great North Run for Cancer Research

Elaine Hudson and Sarah Scott, who are running the Great North Run for Cancer Research

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THESE two friends have grown up together and shared everything.

Now they are gearing up to take part in the Bupa Great North Run on Sunday to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

It is a cause close to their hearts as both women’s families have been affected by oesophageal cancer.

The duo, both 37, who have know each other since they attended Fleetwood High School, are determined to conquer the famous 13.1 mile route from Newcastle to South Shields.

Sarah Scott will be tackling the run in memory of her father, Harry Buckley, who she lost to oesophageal cancer in 2003.

Elaine Hudson is taking part to celebrate the survival of her sister, Clare Coulston, who has also been treated for oesophageal cancer. Clare was diagnosed in 2009 at the age of 33.

Mum-of-two Clare, a police sergeant who lives in Ulverston, underwent chemotherapy treatment and major surgery. She made a good recovery, but continues to have regular check-ups.

Sarah’s dad Harry was diagnosed with advanced oesophageal cancer in 2002, just five weeks after his 50th birthday. Although the cancer was incurable, Harry took part in a clinical trial which helped to shrink the tumour making it possible to operate.

But he became critically ill during surgery and spent the next three weeks in intensive care. He died on September 18, 2003. This will be the second time Sarah, an operations manager for CME Medical in Blackpool, has taken part in the Great North Run.

Sarah, who lives in Fleetwood with husband Darren and daughters, Kaitlyn, seven, and Grace, three, said: “Dad was always a fighter who lived life to the full and it was devastating to lose him when we did. He worked as a fisherman in Fleetwood for many years so was very well-known locally. On the day of the Great North Run, it will be exactly eight years to the day since dad died. I can think of no better way of remembering him, while raising money for Cancer Research UK to ensure no other family has to lose loved ones in the future.”

This will be the first time Elaine, a solicitor for the Crown Prosecution Service, has attempted a half- marathon.

Elaine, who used to live in Fleetwood, but now lives in Catterall, near Garstang, with partner Andrew Byrne and three-year-old son Oscar, said: “It was a huge shock for the entire family when Clare was first diagnosed. She had to go through major surgery, as well as months of chemotherapy treatment – but she’s now doing well and getting stronger every day.

“Like many others we have also lost other relatives to cancer – it is hard to find someone who hasn’t lost somebody close to them.

“Although I’ve never really been much of a runner, I really wanted to set myself this challenge. I’m going to give it my best shot on the day and am determined to raise as much money as possible.”

Cancer Research UK’s team of more than 2,500 runners is aiming to raise over one million to help beat the disease.

Helen Jackson, Cancer Research UK’s senior sports team manager, said: “We’re delighted Elaine and Sarah are part of our team this year. It’s thanks to support like this Cancer Research UK’s doctors, nurses and scientists are able to go on making progress in the fight against cancer.”

To sponsor Elaine and Sarah visit www.runningsponsorme.org/sarahscott74 or www.just giving.com/elaine-hudson