Race For Life a family affair

Three generations of the same family are playing their part in beating cancer by urging the women of Blackpool to sign up to Cancer Research UK's Race for Life.

Tuesday, 11th April 2017, 10:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:20 pm
Young cancer survivor Joe Ball pulls on his trainers alongside mum Caroline Ball, younger sister Emily Ball and grandmother Ann Gaughan as they call on women to play their part in beating cancer by signing up for Cancer Research UKs Race for Life events in Blackpool
Pic: Julie Lomax Photography
Young cancer survivor Joe Ball pulls on his trainers alongside mum Caroline Ball, younger sister Emily Ball and grandmother Ann Gaughan as they call on women to play their part in beating cancer by signing up for Cancer Research UKs Race for Life events in Blackpool Pic: Julie Lomax Photography

Child cancer survivor Joe Ball, aged 11, his mum Caroline Ball, 40, his three-year-old sister Emily Ball and grandmother Ann Gaughan, aged 71, are lacing up their trainers as they issue the rallying cry, “If we can do it, you can too!”

The family are hoping to inspire local women to follow their lead and sign up for the Race for Life Blackpool 5k or 10k events at The Promenade on July 5. A Race for Life Pretty Muddy event will also be held at Lawson’s Showground on September 23.

Joe, from Lytham, was diagnosed with leukaemia just a week before he celebrated his fourth birthday. His mum Caroline, who works as a civil servant, realised there was something seriously wrong with Joe when he lost his appetite, became lethargic and developed pinprick red marks around his neck.

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Blood tests revealed Joe had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and he was immediately transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Joe had a blood transfusion before starting an intensive course of chemotherapy.

He responded well to chemotherapy and completed all of his treatment more than three years later and only two weeks before mum Caroline gave birth to his sister Emily.

Joe is now fit and well and enjoying life at St Peter’s Primary School in Lytham.

Mum Caroline said: “It was a huge shock when Joe was diagnosed with leukaemia. Our experience as a family means we understand all too clearly why Cancer Research UK’s work is so important.

“We are proud to join the fight at Race for Life. We’re proof that women of all ages and abilities can take on the challenge. There’s an event to suit everyone – it’s not about pounding the pavements or racing to the finish line; it’s about coming together to beat cancer sooner.”

Visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.