A BREAST cancer sufferer is backing Fleet’s first News and Mail sponsored Cancer Research UK Race for Life.

Isabelle Marshall (pictured left) has a special reason for taking part in the event at Tweseldown racecourse in Church Crookham on May 18.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, when she was just 24, and underwent a left mastectomy and six months of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy.

“I’ve been ‘all clear’ for about a year now but when I was unwell, I felt like I was the only young person with breast cancer as it does tend to be an older women’s disease,” said Isabelle, who lives on the Zebon Copse estate in Church Crookham.

“I did the Guildford Race for Life last year with my mum and when I went on the internet to join up for this year’s race I saw the Fleet one so decided to enter that one instead.

“Last year’s event was just amazing with lots of people taking part in memory and celebration of loved ones. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Women of all ages will be taking part in the Church Crookham event, one of 130 throughout the country that will raise millions of pounds for Cancer Research UK.

Now in its tenth year, Race for Life is a unique series of events across the country where women walk or run 5km (3.1 miles) together in a bid to help cure cancer.

The events start with a mass aerobic warm-up and everyone taking part gets a medal and goody bag.

The facts about cancer can be daunting, with one in four people in the UK dying of the disease.

But there is some good news too, as the death rate from cancer has fallen by 15% in the last ten years thanks in part to earlier detection and better treatments.

Cancer Research UK helps thousands of people survive and overcome cancer but it needs millions of pounds to do it.

Race for Life is a vital source of funds and has raised an incredible £35 million since it started in 1994.

This year’s target is £17.5 million — nearly 10% of Cancer Research UK’s annual spend.

But women are being urged to act fast as races fill up quickly and entries are not taken on the day. The closing date for entries in the Tweseldown event is May 11.

But even if you cannot take part in the race you could still volunteer to help on the day, with both men and women welcome.

Race for Life has even designed some stylish limited edition clothes so women can look the part on the day.

A 10th anniversary lilac cotton T-shirt costs £12.50 while a special survivor’s pink cotton baseball cap is £7.50. But the items are in limited supply and will not be available on the day.

Tesco is once again the official sponsor of Race for Life. Others include Buxton Mineral Water, Nivea and Runners’ World.

To enter a team, volunteer as a helper on the day or order the limited edition clothes, contact 08705 134314 or go to www.raceforlife.org.