A RESEARCH scientist from Wirral will take part in this year's Greater Manchester Marathon for Cancer Research UK after being diagnosed with the disease.
Dr Shelagh Muir, 42, who is vice president of R&D Homecare at Unilever in Port Sunlight, signed up for the Sunday April 6 event after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
The keen runner, who lives in Birkenhead with her husband John and three-year-old twins Ella and Alban, discovered a lump by 'sheer fluke' in September 2012 but knew she had to get it checked out immediately.
She was referred to Clatterbridge Breast Clinic and diagnosed with cancer on the same day as her appointment after a biopsy revealed a grade three tumour measuring seven and a half centimetres.
Her consultant recommended a full mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The treatment was completed last June and Shelagh now has three monthly scans and feels fit enough to take part in the Marathon.
She said: "Even though I had never been particularly breast aware I knew this wasn't right. I'd never had a history of lumps or anything like this before."
"It was a lot to take in but I was willing to accept any kind of treatment plan.
"My very first thoughts when they told me I had cancer were not about me, they were for the twins.
"I thought 'I need to be there for them as they grow up'. I'll do whatever it takes to ensure that."
More than 600 people will be running in support of Cancer Research UK's More Tomorrows campaign, which raising funds for a new cancer research centre to be built in Manchester.
Looking forward to taking part in the marathon, Shelagh said: "It gave me something to strive for.
"I've always been a runner and thought 'yah hoo to cancer! You're not taking that away from me.'
"Every single day I put my running shoes on, even on the days when I didn’t even feel like walking.
“I specifically wanted all funds raised to go towards the More Tomorrows campaign because I'm a senior volunteer for Cancer Research UK and felt I should put my money where my feet are.
“As a scientist I understand the value of research and development in finding a cure for cancer in the future.
"Receiving life saving treatment myself has given me an even greater appreciation of the importance of this."
Cancer Research UK is offering free entry with charity places and ask that entrants raise a minimum £450 towards the charity’s life-saving research. Call 0871 641 2403 or visit cruk.org/running to join their team.
To sponsor Shelagh, visit: www.justgiving.com/shelaghandkarla