A Keswick mum who is fighting breast cancer has spoken of her pride in her two daughters who have pledged to run five kilometres every day this month for charity as well as supporting her on an emotional family fundraising walk.
Barbara Lightowler, aged 69, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, but after treatment it returned this year and spread, and she is now undergoing more chemotherapy, which she expects to remain on for the rest of her life.
While suffering from stage four breast cancer, Barbara has also been isolating for 107 days now because of the COVID-19 pandemic after being warned by her oncologist she must not contract it.
But the grandmother remains remarkably cheerful and upbeat and is determined to take part in a Race For Life challenge on Saturday, 26th September, when nine members of her family spanning three generations will walk five kilometres with her in aid of Cancer Research UK, whose fundraising has been badly hit during lockdown.
The whole Lightowler family, including Barbara and her husband Stephen, will gather for the St John’s-in-the-Vale walk from Storms to Burns Farm, Naddle Bridge, and back.
Barbara’s daughters, Sarah Renton and Helen White, are already running five kilometres every day in September as an additional fundraising challenge.
Sarah, who is a teacher at St Herbert’s School, said: “This is all for mum, who has been such an inspiration in battling cancer for the second time. She has remained so strong when facing her treatment.
“We were surprised when she wanted to do the walk and seemed so determined that Helen and I wanted to match her stand.
“We thought 5k every day during September would do it. We have to fit the runs around our family life and sometimes it is 6am and sometimes 6pm but we think of mum every step of the way.
“We are being joined on our 5k daily runs which is really keeping us going.”
At least nine members of the family will be taking part in the walk.
Among them are grandchildren Phoebe, Zoey, Charlie and Thomas as well as Joseph, who will be seven on the day.
The daily runs by Sarah and Helen, who is a receptionist at The Spa at Underscar, have already raised £620 on a JustGiving page.
Barbara said: “I am incredibly proud of my two daughters. They have busy lives with jobs and children but are still managing to complete the run each day, rain or shine, and want to raise as much money for the charity as they can.
“I have been training for the walk and I have reached over two kilometres but I am really tired and I have to work it round my chemotherapy treatment. Because we will be outside and can split into small groups, I am certain we will be okay.”