Carlisle Cancer survivor inspires people to 'Race for Life at Home'

A Cancer survivor from Carlisle is encouraging people to consider doing their own version of 'Race For Life' at home.

With charities around the country postponing mass events, many say they're struggling to bring in much needed funds.

Over the next 10 days, Lena Mcallister will push her wheelchair 100km to raise money for Cancer Research UK, and to mark one year in remission after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

It was a battle she says was a hard fight to accomplish after a car crash left her paralysed and wheelchair bound a few years previously.

The former Miss Cumbria finalist was paralysed in a car crash when she was just 18. Credit: Lena Mcallister

Lena says she is completing the challenge in memory of those who have died from cancer, and those who are still fighting.

She said: "Everything shut down with coronavirus, but cancer hasn't stopped. It's still persistently spreading everywhere and there is people getting infected with it."

"10k is six and a half miles. I was going to do 5k, but I know I can do 5k, and I wanted to give myself a little push and a little challenge."

"As long as the weather stays great, we'll be fine, but I do have a poncho so if it's wet, it's ok - I'll still keep going."

Credit: Lena Mcallister

The charity she supports says it's had a great response to its decision to postpone events across the country.

Anna Taylor, from Cancer Research UK, said: "Many of our supporters have been in touch with us to ask 'what can we do now, what can we do to support you whilst we are in lockdown?'

"Out of that, the idea of Race for Life at Home was born. What we're encouraging people to do is to take on challenges in the comfort of their own home. It's really up to the individual how that might look for them.

"We've got people doing a limbo in their living room, people doing star jumps in their back garden, we've even got the odd person running 10k every day for a week.

"All of these challenges will help raise vital funds that will go into cancer research and help us beat this disease more quickly."

Lena says she is glad she can still race money in times of social distancing. She said: "As I live rural, there isn't anybody around so the only thing I'll be seeing going down the road is the odd cow or a sheep - so it won't be hard for me to social distance.

"With Race for Life at Home, you can do anything. You can do lunges, you can do 50 star jumps, 100 star jumps - anything, as long as it's going to help support the charity, you can do anything."