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Bio-chemist urges runners to take part in Race for Life and help beat cancer

A PhD student is urging people to back life-saving research and sign up for Race for Life.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with headline sponsor Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, is an inspiring series of 3k, 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.   

Charlotte Mellor, from Bardsley, is being funded by Cancer Research UK to complete a PhD looking at how cells function, why some die and others don’t. Her research work could lead to better informed choices on therapies for patients in the future.

Charlotte, 26, studied Medical Biochemistry at degree level at The University of Manchester before embarking on the PhD.

She is only too aware of the impact of her research as her grandfather had cancer when she was a youngster and her uncle has recently undergone treatment for prostate cancer. Family friends have also faced cancer diagnoses and asked Charlotte to explain some of the terminology around their treatment.

The former pupil of The Blue Coat School, said: “I’ve always been inquisitive and problem-solving appeals to me, so looking at how cells work and why they don’t all perform in the same way is fascinating.

“I’d like to thank everyone across Oldham and Greater Manchester who supports Race for Life. The funds raised already help people living with cancer every single day and will make a difference to prevent, diagnose and treat more than 200 types of cancer for patients in generations to come.

“Research into cancer is very expensive and all of it is funded purely by donations to Cancer Research UK.”

Every year around 44,100 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West of England *. Money raised at Race for Life will enable scientists of the future like Charlotte to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer - moving closer to a world where everyone can live longer, better lives free from the fear of the disease.   

Race for Life events are open to all ages and abilities. People can choose from 3k, 5k and 10k events. There is also a chance to take part in Pretty Muddy, a 5k mud-splattered obstacle course, and there’s a Pretty Muddy Kids option.

Last year, Cancer Research UK spent around £26 million on research in the North West aimed at developing new and kinder ways to tackle cancer.

Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the North West, Jane Bullock, said: “We are grateful to Charlotte for her support.  No matter how cancer affects us, life is worth racing for. Sadly nearly 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime.** Race for Life has the power not only to transform lives, but to save them. We’re proud that Race for Life has already helped double survival rates in the UK.   

  “We’d love for as many people as possible in Greater Manchester and beyond to join us at Race for Life. It’s a fun and achievable challenge for everyone and we mean everyone. Walk, jog, run or take on the course however it suits best. It’s a chance to feel the power of moving together with fellow Race for Lifers and have fun with it.  

  “Whether people are living with cancer, taking part in honour of or in memory of a loved one with cancer, in it for the medals or just for the fun of fundraising, there is a place for everyone.”  

Since it began in 1994, more than 10 million people have taken part in Race for Life, funding 30 years of hope and progress. Money raised has helped develop radiotherapy which benefits more than 130,000 people with cancer in the UK every year. Cancer Research UK funded scientists led the development of the Human Papillomavirus Virus vaccine, which is expected to prevent almost 90 per cent of cervical cancers in the UK. The charity also funded many large clinical trials looking at the effectiveness of the drug tamoxifen and the research shaped the way the drug is used to treat breast cancer today.  

Andy Curran, Chief Executive of Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, said: “We are incredibly proud to continue as headline sponsor for Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, with the opportunity to encourage participation across the country. 

“By working to raise funds for life-saving research, we can move towards a future where people live longer and healthier lives, free of cancer.” 

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