Yarmouth sisters to run Race For Life in memory of their dad

Melissa Smith (rt) is running Race for Life with her sister in law Melissa Carson in memory of her d

Melissa Smith (rt) is running Race for Life with her sister in law Melissa Carson in memory of her dad Tony. Picture: submitted - Credit: Archant

A Great Yarmouth mum who lost her father to cancer is making a stand against the disease by taking part in fundraising 5k run – and is urging other women across the borough to do the same.

Melissa Smith will be among hundreds of women lacing up their trainers for Cancer Research UK's Race for Life, and will be completing the course in memory of her dad, Tony Branthwaite.

The 32-year-old has taken part in the event for the past two years with her sister-in-law, Melissa Carson, and between them they have raised hundreds of pounds for the charity.

The pair first completed it in 2009 simply because they thought it was a worthwhile cause and fun event.

But in 2011 it became a cause much closer to home when Tony died from cancer, aged 70.

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Melissa said: 'Dad was unwell for some months before he died. Only after his death was he discovered to have extensive cancer all over his body.

'In some ways I am glad Dad was spared the knowledge that he had terminal cancer. His death was mercifully swift and in some ways that made it easier for us to deal with.

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'But it is also really scary that cancer can become so advanced before you get any symptoms. It really is a silent enemy and we need to do everything we can to fight it.'

She and sister-in-law Melissa are now encouraging others to 'hit cancer where it hurts' by signing up for the Norwich event, which takes place at the Norfolk Showground on May 18-19.

The pair plan on tackling the course at a sedate pace, while others may run, jog or even dance round the track.

Three events are being held at the showground. A 10k course sets off on the Saturday at 10am, followed by a 5k race at 2pm. A second 5k race gets going at 11am on the Sunday.

For more details visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.

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