CATHERINE Renton will carry a special good luck charm as she lines up for her first Great North Run next month.
On a chain around her neck, her late mum Louise’s wedding ring will be a poignant reminder of exactly why she’s taking part.
Race day on September 13 falls almost two years to the day since Louise passed away after battling a particularly aggressive form of cancer.
She died peacefully at home in Leith on September 15, 2013, the very morning Catherine had been due to take part in her first Morrisons Great North Run to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Catherine, also of Leith, said: “I feel as though two years on from mum passing that I’m ready for this and I want to make it a celebration of her life.
“She was so amazingly brave throughout her illness and I want to do this race in her honour and raise as much money as I possibly can.I’ve wanted to do the Great North Run since I was little and mum would be so proud that I’m finally doing it in aid of such a good cause.”
Catherine, 33, an admin assistant at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and mum Louise, 59, a postwoman, had been fundraising running partners and took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in 2011 at Holyrood Park.
A year later, in June 2012, Louise, then 58, was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer after seeking help for indigestion. Later it was discovered that the oesophageal tumour had in fact been caused by a rare neuroendocrine cancer, which affects the body’s hormonal system.
That same month, doctors delivered the heartbreaking news that Louise’s illness was terminal and only palliative care could be given.
“Two days after that, mum was there on the finish line waiting for me as I completed another Race For Life in Edinburgh – she was amazing. Even after such bleak news, she was there to support me.”
Royal Mail worker Louise was married to retired United Wire worker husband Alex, 69, for 38 years.
The family, including Catherine’s brother Neil, 39, his wife Sarah, 37, and kids Saul, nine, and Lexi, five, all have treasured memories of Louise.
Catherine added: “Mum so wanted to see Lexi starting school but she never made it. When she started primary one in August, however, she was there with her pencil case and personalised pencils that her nana had bought for her for her big day, it was really special.
“Mum was given only six to eight months to live, but in the end, she lasted 14 months and that’s down to her sheer determination along with the advances that have been made in treating this type of cancer.
“At work I see consultants who undertake research in bowel cancers, including early detection and more advanced surgical techniques to ensure more curative outcomes than ever before. By raising money for Cancer Research UK, we can continue to make massive steps towards one day finding a cure.”