A DEVOTED daughter whose dad survived cancer of the oesophagus is gearing up to put her best foot forward for the Race for Life.
Natasha Richardson, from Cleveleys, hopes other local women will join her to raise as much money as possible by taking part in the Cancer Research 5k event, which will be held on the Promenade in Blackpool on Wednesday July 4.
Natasha’s dad, Peter Richardson, became unwell in 2009.
Peter, now 64, had a persistent cough and was finding it increasingly difficult to swallow food. Peter’s wife, Christine, encouraged him to go along and see his GP.
He was immediately referred to the Blackpool Victoria Hospital where a biopsy and further scans were undertaken.
In December 2009, Peter and his family were dealt the devastating news he had cancer of the oesophagus.
Within weeks Peter began a course of chemotherapy treatment. In May 2010, he underwent surgery at the Royal Preston Hospital to remove the rest of the tumour from his oesophagus.
During the same operation it was also necessary to remove part of his stomach. Peter then began a lengthy recovery period and struggled to eat for several months. He now continues to have regular check-ups.
Teacher Natasha, 24, said: “We were absolutely devastated when dad was diagnosed with cancer. He faced a huge battle and at times it was touch and go, but he was so brave and we are just so pleased that he is now doing much better.”
Natasha, who has a 22-year-old brother Paul, first took part in the Race for Life in 2010 – just months after her dad’s diagnosis.
She said: “I have taken part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life twice now, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a fantastic event and an excellent way to raise money for such a good cause.
“It felt very personal to me when I first did it, because of what my dad was going through.”
This year, organisers want 3,000 women and girls to put their best foot forward in Blackpool.
In 2011, 2,862 women took part in Race for Life in Blackpool and raised £114,284. To enter Race for Life visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0871 641 1111.