Participants needed for unique Race for Life weekend to help beat cancer

Falkirk district residents are being urged to unite against cancer by taking part in a unique Race for Life weekend.

Organisers Cancer Research UK cancelled all 400 mass participation events in 2020 to protect the country’s health during the Covid-19 outbreak – including the Race for Life 5k and 10k at Callendar Park in Falkirk which had been due to take place on June 21.

The charity is expecting a staggering £160 million drop in income in the year ahead with life-saving research funding already cut by £44 million in 2020.

To help tackle the devastating loss, undeterred women and men are vowing to raise funds by completing their own Race for Life 5k in their nearest green space on Saturday, September 26.

Race for Life events run by Cancer Research UK attracted thousands of participants prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cancer Research UK is asking ‘Very 2020 Race for Life’ participants to head outdoors either alone or in small, socially distanced groups – but all on the same day – with the aim of helping those with cancer.

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The original Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat the disease by funding crucial research.

Thanks to the generosity of people across Falkirk district, participants last year raised £73,790 to support vital research to develop gentler and more effective treatments for cancer – a disease that will affect one in two people in the UK at some stage in their lives.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “Covid-19 has made the fight against cancer even harder.

“With around 32,200 people diagnosed with the disease every year in Scotland, we will never stop striving to create better treatments and to ensure people affected by cancer get the support we need.

“But we can’t do it alone. That’s why we need people to join us for a Very 2020 Race for Life.

“Vital cancer research has been delayed this year. Even though we have to Race for Life differently in 2020, nothing’s going to stop us running, walking and jogging to raise money and help beat cancer.

“Whatever the hurdle, we’ll keep going and we’d urge as many people as possible across Falkirk to join in on September 26.

“People can set off from their home to complete 5k their way that day. Things haven’t gone to plan for any of us in 2020. This is going to be a very 2020 Race for Life but together we will still beat cancer.”

A live broadcast on the Cancer Research UK Race for Life Facebook page at 9.30am on Saturday, September 26 will include an energiser from a fitness expert, as well as inspirational messages of support from people who have been through cancer.

Participants are then invited to set off on their own Race for Life. Organisers are also inviting participants to share photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #Very2020RaceForLife.

Cancer Research UK’s work in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has been at the heart of progress that has seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.

The charity currently funds around 50 per cent of all publicly funded cancer research in the UK.

However, as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, promising projects which could have the big answers to cancer are being held up.

Lisa added: “Cancer is still happening right now and we won’t let 2020 stop us.

“Whether people are taking part in Race for Life this September in their local park or even in their back garden, they’ll be united by a determination to beat cancer together.

“At a time when we’re having to keep apart from each other, there is still a way to unite. We’re urging everyone who has got behind Race for Life in the past to please continue supporting us.

“Sadly, cancer touches almost every family at some time and we want to do everything we can to help give people more tomorrows with their loved ones.”

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies entirely on the public’s generous support. The charity was able to spend over £42 million last year in Scotland on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.

Visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770 to sign up.

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