Ramsbottom mum gives cancer the cold shoulder

17th October 2015

A Ramsbottom mum is urging people to swap their slippers for trainers by taking part in the Cancer Research UK Manchester Winter Run.


Mum-of-one, Lindsey Lyons, is running in the unique 10k event, which takes place in the city for the first time on Sunday February 28 and is urging men and women of all abilities to join her.

For those looking to get fitter in 2016, the Winter Run is the perfect New Year challenge. Taking on the event could also provide seasoned runners with the motivation to banish the winter blues and keep training during the cold weather – all in aid of a good cause.

The event’s special wintry features include falling snow and hugs from friendly ‘polar bears’ on the finish line, providing an added incentive to conquer the cold for Cancer Research UK.

Lindsey, aged 39, hopes as many people as possible across the North West will embrace the new challenge and help to raise vital funds for life-saving research.

Lindsey Lyons with dad Peter GurnhillLindsey was keen to take part as she lost her dad to cancer. She also wanted to “get fit at 40” as she celebrates the milestone birthday in January. Peter Gurnhill became ill aged 58 when he started to suffer with breathlessness. He had always had physical jobs and been fairly fit.

Following a visit to the GP, he was sent to hospital where fluid was drained from his lungs. A consultant at Trafford General Hospital immediately suspected the problem and Peter was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He had worked as a young apprentice boiler engineer and the consultant believed Peter must have been exposed to asbestos during the 1960s.

Peter was sent to Leicester for specialist surgery. But the treatment was unsuccessful and he died less than a year after the diagnosis aged 59.

Lindsey had discovered she was pregnant with her first baby while her dad was fighting cancer. She gave birth to baby Clarissa in February 2007 just the day after her dad had died. It was a particularly difficult time for the whole family, including Lindsey’s mum, who had been with her dad for 38 years.

Lindsey, who is married to Jonathan, concentrated her energies on Clarissa while her older brother looked after their grieving mum.

Lindsey, who works as a dispatch clerk in Chadderton, Oldham, said: “I’m not a natural runner, so taking part in Winter Run will prove a real challenge for me!

“Losing my dad at such a young age was shocking and it’s heartbreaking that he never got to meet Clarissa who is now aged eight.

“By raising money through the Winter Run, I want to help Cancer Research UK fund research which will help save more lives in the future.

“The cold won’t put me off because I know the money I’m raising is helping to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. That’s what will keep me going come rain, shine or blizzard!”

Lindsey Lyons pic two

The Cancer Research UK Winter Run Series takes place in Manchester, Liverpool and London and encourages people to keep running throughout the winter by taking on a 10k, whilst raising money for research to help beat 200 types of cancer.

In Manchester, the closed road route will be transformed into a winter wonderland which takes place in and around the Etihad Campus.

Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the North West, said: “We’re so excited that the Winter Run is taking place in Manchester for the first time and hope to see an avalanche of support for this unique new event.

“Every year around 39,400 people in the North West are diagnosed with cancer*, so we need as many people as possible to sign up.

“Now that the clocks have gone back, it’s all too tempting to put the exercise regime on ice and hibernate until spring.

“But cancer never sleeps, so we need people to sign up now to brave the elements for Cancer Research UK. They will be able to bask in the knowledge that they’re raising vital funds for research, which is helping more men, women and children in the North West and across the UK survive.”

Organisers, Human Race – the UK’s largest mass participation event company – hope the Winter Run in Manchester will raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for the charity.

Cancer survival rates have doubled since the 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress. But more funds and more supporters are needed to help beat cancer sooner.

Jane Bullock continued: “Sadly, most of us know someone whose life has been touched by cancer. One in two of us in the UK will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in our lives. And that’s why we urgently need people to enter the Manchester Winter Run.

“Our aim is that one day everyone will beat cancer. The more research we fund, the sooner that day will come.”

Click here for more information on the Cancer Research UK Winter Run Series.