A SELF-CONFESSED “couch potato” is gearing up to pound the streets of the Capital for a good cause after her dad was dealt a shock cancer diagnosis.
Sara Ridolfi will be joining hundreds of others in this weekend’s Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Winter Run in a bid to raise as much cash as possible for Cancer Research UK.
Sara, who moved to the city from Rome to work as a tour operator and now lives in Restalrig, admitted she was “not fit at all” when her dad Fernando was diagnosed with stage three stomach cancer in July 2017.
He had experienced symptoms like stomach cramps and sensations of burning pain, but did not speak to a doctor until he fainted.
In just one week he underwent screening tests and two operations, one of which was a total gastrectomy.
Fernando also underwent gruelling chemotherapy sessions that continued until Christmas, from which he is now recovering.
Sara, 32, explained she had felt helpless during her father’s treatment and was inspired to take on the run to support him going forward.
She said: “I needed a challenge and for me running is a huge one. I am not sporty at all, I eat too much and I just love the comfort of a couch and a book.
“I thought about running the 5k because I knew it was January and I had a while to build myself up to my first ever running event.
“When I got the call from my mum to tell me about Dad’s diagnosis I was completely shocked as we are very close and I immediately wanted to do something to help prevent this in the future.
“He is my rock and cancer is not something that you expect to hear but you cannot do much about it except fight it in every way.
“This is my way of fighting it and supporting my dad.”
Sara will join around 3000 other runners set to kick off the new year with the event, which takes place on Saturday.
The 5k course features a scenic route that takes runners up Arthur’s Seat, offering beautiful views of Edinburgh, before they cross the finish line in Holyrood Park.
Sara is aiming to raise £700 by completing the course and in doing so hopes to help raise more awareness of the devastating disease.
She added: “I am a strong believer that research into cancer will help save lives and I believe that if we understand cancer, and we know more about it we have more information to possibility to beat it.
“I think running is a great way to pick up a new year’s resolution because it makes you stronger both physically and mentally. When I started training I was not fit at all but I have seen a real change in me. When I start something nothing can stop me.”
To sponsor Sara, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/saretta-ridolfi?newPage=True.