A FORMER Free Press reporter who survived cancer is rallying women to take part in a popular fundraising event.
Natalie Jones, 28, is making a stand against the disease by entering Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.
The mum-of-one, who overcame cervical cancer, wants every woman across the area to join her by signing up for the events which take place in Wrexham, Rhyl, Wrexham and Chester in June.
“It was a terrible shock when I was diagnosed with cancer,” said Natalie.
“You hear how people say they can hear the words but they don’t register – that is exactly how it happens.
“I was told the doctors had found a small cluster of cancer in November 2010.
“A routine smear in the August had discovered abnormal cells, I was taken in and had them removed – I thought that was it, but weeks later I was called back in.
“That was when I was given the news.”
The cancer was found inside the neck of the cervix which is very rare, so Natalie was operated on immediately.
“An anxious few weeks followed, finally days before Christmas Eve I was given the all clear, they had caught the cancer early and in time before it had spread,” she said.
“I cannot thank the staff enough and also stress how important these routine smears are – they saved my life.
“I am here to tell the tale, and I am now a proud mummy of a little boy, Niall who is almost one.”
She added: “Taking part in Race for Life is my way of fighting back against cancer.
“I’m so grateful for the research that has helped me and now I want to help others by supporting Cancer Research UK’s work.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in partnership with Tesco is a women-only series of events which raises millions of pounds every year to help defeat cancer by funding life-saving research.
Although the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is going up - largely due to the fact that people are living longer and cancer is predominantly a disease of old age - the good news is that, thanks to research, survival rates have doubled in the past 40 years.
Laura Taylor, Cancer Research UK’s North Wales events manager, said: “Come on ladies, please join Natalie and play your part by entering Race for Life in North Wales today.
“There are over 200 cancers and we won’t give up until we find cures for them all. It’s fighting talk and we mean every word we say. Cancer, North Wales is coming to get you.”
She added: “Race for Life is an amazing way to celebrate life but also remember those who have been lost to the disease.
“Participants may be decked out in pink or fancy dress but what’s inescapable is the power and strength that comes from thousands of women joining together to confront cancer. Don’t be fooled by the tutus and tiaras - Race for Life is cancer’s worst nightmare.
“Race for Life is non-competitive. It doesn’t matter how fit or fast you are. You can walk the 5k route, run it or jog it if you prefer. ”
To enter Race for Life go to www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.