Blackpool mother calls for more people to get involved in Race for Life

Mother’s Day was particularly poignant for Bridget Campbell as it marked the one year anniversary of her mum’s death. Dorrell Campbell was a devoted mum and grandma who took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life for almost a decade. Her daughter Bridget, 55, and grand-daughter Tyler, 20, who live in Kirkham, are now calling on people across Lancashire to join them at Race for Life.
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Mum-of-three Dorrell, who was brought up in Jamaica and lived in Darlington in the North East, was diagnosed with breast cancer 17 years ago.

Dorrell, who was aged 63 at the time and had retired from work, was devastated to lose her beautiful long hair due to the chemotherapy treatment. She had surgery to remove the tumour from her breast and lymph nodes to ensure the cancer hadn’t spread followed by radiotherapy. She made a great recovery and continued to be as busy as ever gardening, meeting friends and volunteering at Age UK.

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Dorrell was so grateful to survive the cancer diagnosis that she signed up for her local Race for Life event in Darlington every year and walked the 5k course. Sadly, despite making such a good recovery from the cancer, Dorrell died on March 10 last year aged 80 after developing pneumonia following complications following bowel surgery.

Bridget and Dorrell CampbellBridget and Dorrell Campbell
Bridget and Dorrell Campbell

Bridget, who works at British Aerospace, and Tyler took part in Race for Life Blackpool last July to mark what would have been Dorrell’s 81st birthday

Mum-of-three Bridget said: “My mum was an extraordinary lady and a real character. We were all devastated when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had only been retired a few years and it was a shock. But she fought back and Race for Life became a real celebration for her every year to mark her survival. She knew how important research is and that it saved her life.

“Race for Life was very important to her and so Tyler and I wanted to continue that tradition. Taking part last year at Blackpool was emotional as it would have been her birthday the same day. And then this year, Mother’s Day fell on the anniversary of her death, so it was a poignant day remembering her.

Race for Life Blackpool 5k and 10k events will be held this year on The Promenade on the evening of Wednesday July 3. Race for Life Preston 3k, 5k and 10k events and Pretty Muddy events – the mud splattered obstacle course – will be held at Moor Park on Saturday June 8. Every year around 44,700 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West*.

Bridget Campbell and daughter TylerBridget Campbell and daughter Tyler
Bridget Campbell and daughter Tyler
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Money raised at Race for Life has helped develop radiotherapy which benefits more than 130,000 people with cancer in the UK every year. Cancer Research UK funded scientists led the development of the Human Papillomavirus Virus vaccine, which is expected to prevent almost 90 per cent of cervical cancers in the UK. The charity also funded many large clinical trials looking at the effectiveness of the drug tamoxifen and the research shaped the way the drug is used to treat breast cancer today.

Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson in Lancashire, said: “We are grateful to Bridget and Tyler for their support and know their story will make an impact on everyone who hears it.

“No matter how cancer affects us, life is worth racing for. Sadly nearly 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime.** Race for Life has the power not only to transform lives, but to save them. We’re proud that Race for Life has already helped double survival rates in the UK. We’d love for as many people as possible across Lancashire and beyond to join us at Race for Life.

“Whether people are living with cancer, are taking part in honour of or in memory of a loved one with the disease, or are in it for the medals or just for the fun of fundraising, there is a place for everyone.” 

Dorrell Campbell at Race for LifeDorrell Campbell at Race for Life
Dorrell Campbell at Race for Life

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with headline sponsor Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, is an inspiring series of 3k, 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.  

Since it began in 1994, more than 10 million people have taken part in Race for Life, funding 30 years of hope and progress.  The UK’s biggest fundraising event series, which raised £33m in 2023, is returning with a shift in attitude this year, determined to shine light on the life-saving research that Race for Life has funded and issuing a rallying cry for people to sign up to support the scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow.

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