The race is on

Jane Berry and Caroline Stringer will be taking part in this year's Race for Life.

Jane Berry and Caroline Stringer will be taking part in this year's Race for Life.

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These two sisters, whose family has been devastated by cancer, will be guests of honour at the Blackpool Race for Life in two weeks’ time.

Jane Berry and Caroline Stringer will be invited on stage to join the countdown and set participants off at the Tesco and Cancer Research UK event on June 29, at Lawson’s Showground.

Caroline, 31, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last year. As well as celebrating her survival, the sisters will pay tribute to their dad, Eric Porter, who died in January, from pancreatic cancer.

They are also taking part for their mum, Elaine Porter, of Rossall, who was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram in 1999. After a mastectomy, she went on to make a full recovery.

In April last year, Caroline, of Thornton, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma the day before her 30th birthday. She had been feeling increasingly tired and went for her routine check-up with a rheumatologist.

She was diagnosed after a chest X-ray, and underwent a biopsy to clarify which type of lymphoma she had – which hospitalised her for five days.

She completed six months of gruelling chemotherapy and 17 sessions of radiotherapy on Christmas Eve 2010.

The day before finishing her treatment, the family were given the devastating news their dad, Eric Porter, had advanced pancreatic cancer which had already spread to his liver and lymph nodes.

Eric went into Trinity Hospice as his health deteriorated, and he died in January, aged 63, six weeks after diagnosis.

This will be the first time Jane and Caroline have taken part in Race for Life.

Jane, 35, of Blackpool, said: “My family had never really been affected by cancer, so to have three people in our direct family diagnosed with the disease has been incredibly hard.

“We didn’t realise dad was as poorly as he was, so it was a great shock to be told he had cancer and to lose him just weeks later. We are a very close family and dad not being here has left a huge hole in all our hearts.

“Although I can’t do anything to change what’s happened to our family, by taking part in Race for Life I know I’m doing my bit to help other families.”

Caroline said: “Seeing the closest people in my life going through cancer and losing dad within such a short space of time has been terrible. And although I, too, have been through treatment, I feel like one of the lucky ones.

“Although it has been incredibly hard losing dad, Jane and I are looking forward to taking part in our first Race for Life in his memory, and helping to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK. I just hope our story will help to inspire others to join us and sign up for the Blackpool event.”

To join the sisters and enter Race for Life, log on to www.raceforlife.org or call 0871 641 1111.