Capital cancer victim to set off weekend’s runners

The warm-up at last year's Race for Life

The warm-up at last year's Race for Life

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A CANCER survivor from the Capital is set to sound the start on tomorrow’s Cancer Research UK Race for Life in Holyrood Park.

Nearly 6000 women – many cancer survivors among them – will be taking part in the race, organised to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Keeping them under starters orders will be Pamela Adams and her nine-year-old daughter Katie. They will be sounding the air horn that marks the beginning of the event, before tackling the course themselves.

Pamela, of Carrick Knowe, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, and has since undergone chemotherapy and a mastectomy.

She said: “I found a lump in my breast and was referred to the Western General. They gave me a mammogram and a biopsy in the morning, and had the diagnosis by the afternoon. It was that quick.

“I hadn’t realised everything would happen so fast.

“My husband was at home looking after our daughter and I had to go and break the news to them.

“I just told Katie I wasn’t very well and needed treatment, I didn’t think she would really understand the word ‘cancer’.”

The 49-year-old administrator added: “Katie’s first reaction was: ‘But how do I get to school?’

“She was only five then and had just started so it was very much a case of ‘OK, you’re not feeling well but more importantly . . .’

“I reassured her that I would still take her to school every day – and I did. I also worked pretty much straight through my illness.

“I even kept working during the chemotherapy. It kept me positive and looking forward. But after the operation I knew I needed to take some time off.

“It’s great being back at work now. It’s normality.”

This will be the fourth time Pamela has tackled a Race for Life, her first being four years ago when she completed the Dundee course along with her sister and Katie.

She said: “It’s thanks to the research funded by events like this that I am still here.

“Success stories like mine would not be possible without the work of Cancer Research UK. And everyone who raises money through Race for Life is helping to keep improving early detection and treatment.” Race for Life was launched in 1994 and since then 4.7 million participants across the UK have raised more than £327m.

Cancer Research UK events manager for Edinburgh, Gillian Forsyth, said: “We are very grateful to Pamela and everyone else taking part in the Edinburgh Race for Life.

“We still have places at Race for Life events across Scotland and we hope women will follow Pamela’s example and enter.”

On Sunday those walking or running – participants can do both in this non-competitive event – the 5km course will be able to take in the sights of Holyrood Park, with the route leading right past St Margaret’s Loch, Dunsapie Loch, Arthur’s Seat, Salisbury Crags and the Scottish Parliament.

Pamela said: “I’ll definitely be walking the course. I’m not even going to attempt to run.

“I can use Katie as an excuse though, she’s got wee legs.”