An inspirational mum and son will be guests of honour at Race for Life in Chester.
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in partnership with Tesco is an inspiring women-only series of events which raises millions of pounds every year to help defeat cancer by funding life-saving research.
Race for Life will be held at Chester Racecourse on Sunday June 23 starting at 9am.
Noah Scott, who lives in Lache, Chester, was a healthy, strapping 13-month-old when he ended up being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer purely by chance.
The youngster had been off his food and his mum, Nia Williams, tempted him to eat by feeding him prunes.
Noah loved the prunes so much he ate the lot leaving him with diarrhoea and wind.
Nia took Noah to the doctor the following day blaming herself for having fed him the prunes.
However, when the GP was examining Noah, he felt a distinct swelling in his stomach and sent him immediately to the Countess of Chester Hospital for an ultrasound scan
Following scans, blood tests and a biopsy at Alder Hey Hospital in Merseyside, Noah was diagnosed with a type of cancer called “neuroblastoma”.
Neuroblastoma is a cancer of nerve cells left behind from a baby’s development in the womb. Around 90 children are diagnosed with the disease each year in Britain.
In Noah’s case, the tumour was growing on his adrenal gland, behind his kidney and had attached to his urethra.
Noah, who is an only child, began an immediate course of chemotherapy in a bid to shrink the tumour. He was also placed on a Cancer Research UK funded clinical trial.
Noah and his parents, Nia and Paul, spent more time at hospital than at home. He contracted E-coli a few times and his immune system became very weak.
The chemotherapy was successful in shrinking the tumour and Noah underwent surgery to have it removed in December of 2011.
Nia and Paul had been warned to prepare for Noah potentially having to lose a kidney, but the operation proved to be a great success.
Noah had then faced a course of radiotherapy followed by immunotherapy at the start of 2012. But a biopsy showed this course of action was unnecessary and he proved to be among just five per cent of patients who can be successfully treated with just chemotherapy and surgery for this type of cancer.
The plucky youngster, who received a Cancer Research UK Little Star award for his courage, was treated with retinoic acid for six months and in September of last year, the family were given the good news that he is in remission.
Noah has been left partially deaf in both ears due to side-effects from the drugs used to treat him, but other than that, he is in excellent health.
Nia and Noah will be guests of honour at Race for Life in Chester. They will set the participants on their way before Nia joins in herself.
Nia, aged 30, said: “Taking part in Race for Life is my way of fighting back against cancer. I’m so grateful for the research that has helped Noah to survive and now I want to help others by supporting Cancer Research UK’s work.
“I took part in Race for Life at Chester last summer in tribute to Noah’s bravery and it will be great to set the participants off knowing he is now in remission.
“When Noah was diagnosed with cancer, it was very hard to take in the news. He had no symptoms and we would never have known there was anything wrong with him if it hadn’t been for the prune incident.
“Noah is so full of fun and mischief. He is a real little rascal and the light of our lives.”
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. More people across the North West are now beating the disease than ever before.
Laura Taylor, Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life Chester Events Manager, said: “Come on ladies, please join Nia and play your part by entering Race for Life in Chester today. Together, we can hit cancer where it hurts!
“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, Chester is coming to get you.”
By raising money through Race for Life, participants are helping Cancer Research UK’s doctors, nurses and scientists make advances in research which will help more men, women and children survive.
Last year, 3,323 women took part in Race for Life in Chester and raised a fantastic £157,000. This year, organisers need 3,300 women and girls to stride out to help raise £150,000 for vital research.
Laura Taylor continued: “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.”
Participants come in all shapes, sizes, ages and levels of fitness. They are from different backgrounds and walks of life but they are united by their absolute determination to take on cancer and beat it.
Laura added: “Race for Life is non-competitive. It doesn’t matter how fit or fast you are. Taking part is about joining together against a disease that affects all of us. You can walk the 5k route, run it, jog it or even dance your way round if you prefer. Please take the first step by signing up today.”
Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding for its ground-breaking research but with help from the people of the North West the charity intends to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Cancer Research UK funds world-class research and clinical trials throughout the North West and last year spent nearly £21 million supporting the work of doctors, nurses and scientists at hospitals and major universities in the region.
To enter Race for Life today go to www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.