A WIRRAL mum and breast cancer survivor is set to take on the London Marathon next month to support those who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Caroline Allkins, from Heswall, was forced to defer her London Marathon place last year as she was undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and awaiting breast reconstruction surgery.

The 46-year-old runner had been waiting to be selected for the ballot for several years.

However the determined mum-of-two never gave up and continued to train throughout her treatment to help keep the dream of competing in the London Marathon alive.

Fast-forward one year and Caroline is set to run the race of her life in London on Sunday, April 28 to raise crucial funds for her workplace, Deafness Support Network (DSN).

She told the Globe: "In June 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had already lost my mother (herself a profoundly deaf, awe inspiring amazing lady) to breast cancer in 2005 so it wasn't alien to me.

"I had sat with mum through hours of chemotherapy listening to the other ladies around, relaying to my mum the wonderful courageous life stories that I know gave her such support and a feeling of camaraderie, these times I know also helped me build my own resilience and sheer determination, that upon my diagnoses, anything I could do to try to keep any 'normality' while receiving treatment was something that I was going to do.

"Running is something I have just done, for many years, I have ran one marathon, numerous half marathons, 10Ks and the Race for Life every year since 2005, this included taking part on June 25, 2016 - three days before I was going in for my mastectomy.

"As you can probably see, running is something I just do.

"Running is something I did throughout my treatment, on days I couldn't run I would walk, dragging my husband, children, friends around with me.

"It was the ability to keep physically, therefore, mentally fit at the worst time of my life, that helped me through the very dark unpleasant days."

Caroline is now hoping to raise £1,150 for DSN, the charity she has worked for as a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter for 25 years.

She added: "I have been fortunate for nearly 25 years to have a career that has helped to develop me into the professional I am today. I feel privileged to be part of every aspect of deaf people's lives where communication support is required.

"I can honestly say I love my job and the people I work with.

"Throughout my diagnosis, treatments, and other medical complications that go alongside, DSN as an employer were marvellous.

"They supported me throughout and helped with my phase return back into work.

"I want to raise money for DSN, who having faced the challenges of cuts in funding, have been able to still provide much needed services to D/deaf people, D/deaf people who are my family, my friends, my colleagues and people who are overlooked as deafness, especially D/deaf people who use BSL are often not seen."

On Sunday, March 10 Caroline took part in the Liverpool Half Marathon with her husband Roger which they completed in two hours and seven minutes.

She added: "It’s a very significant year for me and a great milestone to have reached.

"I am putting in so much time to be able to complete the 26.2 miles and I really hope that people can find even just a small way to support the run and DSN all the way to finish line.”

For more information and to donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/caroline-allkins