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'Sisters' With Incurable Cancer Urge People To Keep Fighting By Participating In 'Race For Life' At Home

Nicky Newman and Laura Middleton-Hughes (Cancer Research UK/PA)

Two women living with incurable cancer hope to inspire people to keep up the fight against the disease during the pandemic by taking part in the 'Race for Life' at home.


Nicky Newman, from Guildford, England, and Laura Middleton-Hughes, from Norwich, England, are both 32 and both have stage four cancer which has spread around their bodies.

After being told the news that their cancer was incurable, the women set up an upbeat, online community called Secondary Sisters, to support anyone going through a similar journey.

Now the pair are encouraging people to take on Cancer Research UK's lockdown alternative, 'Race for Life at Home' challenge.

Nicky Newman hopes to inspire people to keep up the fight against cancer (Cancer Research UK/PA)

For Ms. Newman, this is to move in some form every day.

She said:

"I recently found out I have a partial collapse in my spine, due to the cancer having a nibble, so high impact exercise is a no-go for me."
"But that doesn't mean I can't still get active."
"But I am aiming to 'move' every day, whether that's half an hour on the cross trainer or a gentle yoga practice."

Ms. Newman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. She and husband Alex had been trying for a baby for a year and were half way through IVF treatment when she found a lump, which was cancerous.

She needed very heavy medication to control the pain and temporarily lost the ability to walk, needing three months off from her job at a finance brokerage as she concentrated on regaining strength, physically and mentally.

She met Ms. Middleton-Hughes through the cancer community and they hit it off immediately.

Ms. Middleton-Hughes was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 after finding a lump in her left breast while on a vacation to Australia.

She underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy, recovered well and returned to an active life.

But in April 2016, she began to feel pain in her right shoulder. A scan revealed not only a fracture but a tumor that had overtaken the head of the humerus.

She underwent a shoulder replacement, which caused her agonizing pain, and then started chemotherapy. She had to give up her job as a hairdresser.

"I will now remain on drugs for the rest of my life in order to control the spread of the disease," said Ms. Middleton-Hughes. "I will never be free of cancer now, but I know that the drugs keeping it under control are only here because of research."

"It's only through continued research and treatment that many people like me can still enjoy a full and active life."

'Race for Life' events have been postponed in large numbers around the UK, to help protect the country's health during the worldwide outbreak.

'Race for Life at Home' means people can do their own event whenever and wherever it suits them – within the constraints of Government guidance on the virus.

People can visit raceforlife.org and sign up free for ideas on how they can create their own 'Race for Life at Home' challenge.