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'Reluctant runners' take on Jersey Race for Life challenge

Lorna is leading the team called "Legs Miserables", a group of friends who are taking on the challenge with her. Credit: Lorna Pirozzolo

People in Jersey will be putting on their running shoes today to raise money for Cancer Research UK through the Jersey Race for Life.

One team taking on the challenge is being led by Lorna Pirozzolo, who was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer after finding a lump last year.

Lorna had surgery and chemotherapy, but then discovered another lump. Doctors told her the cancer had progressed to stage four, spreading to her lymph nodes. It is treatable, but incurable.

Lorna's mother had breast cancer twice and genetic testing has shown that she and her sisters carry the BRCA2 gene, which gives the carrier a 70% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and a 20% risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The diagnosis made Lorna put her health first.

When I found out I had stage four breast cancer which had spread, I needed something to focus on. I've never been a runner but I know exercise is important, so I started to train.

One by one I started guilt-tripping my friends into joining me, on the grounds that if I could do it, so could they!

– Lorna Pirozzolo

Lorna, who is 42 and an air traffic control operation support co-ordinator at Jersey Airport has recruited 12 friends for the race, calling the team "Legs Miserables", inspired by Victor Hugo's connection with Jersey. So far they have raised more than £1,000 for Cancer Research UK.

None of us are runners, we're all shapes, sizes and ages. Race for Life will only be five days after my next cycle of chemotherapy, so my plan is to walk-run-walk. But really this is about raising money for research and awareness.

– Lorna Pirozzolo

The race is set to get underway today at 11am with islanders meeting at Les Jardins de la Mer.