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Young Burntwood cancer survivor will get muddy for charity

By Heather Large | Staffordshire | News | Published:

A schoolgirl who beat kidney cancer is calling on women and children to get caked in mud for a good cause.

10 year old Bethany Jennings, her 13 year old sister Sophie and mum Becky celebrate signing up for Cancer Research UK's Pretty Muddy Kids run at Weston Park in May

Bethany Jennings, aged ten, from Burntwood, has launched the first ever Race for Life ‘Pretty Muddy Kids’ event at Weston Park on Saturday, May 12.

The specially designed course, which features fun and filthy slides, scramble nets and space hoppers, takes place alongside the adults’ Pretty Muddy 5k and 10k events on the same day.

Bethany gets Pretty Muddy after successful cancer treatment

Bethany, who attends Ridgeway Primary School, said: “I want to help other people like me because I know what it’s like going through treatment. I had to have drugs that made me sick but I got better thanks to research.

“I’d encourage other people to join in Pretty Muddy because, even though you get dirty, it’s really fun and you get to raise money for a good cause.”

Bethany was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer called a Wilms Tumour in August 2015.

She endured five weeks of chemotherapy and lost her long hair before undergoing a five-and-a-half-hour operation to remove her kidney followed by another 26 weeks of chemotherapy.

Her mother Becky, who will be joining Bethany and her 13-year-old sister Sophie at Pretty Muddy, said: “Everything went blank when Bethany was diagnosed. The cancer had taken over her whole kidney so it had to be removed but thankfully it hadn’t spread.

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“Now she’s doing amazingly well and you wouldn’t believe she’d ever been poorly. We’re so grateful for the research and treatment that saved her life. We can’t wait to get stuck into the mud and raise money for Cancer Research UK.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, Half Marathon and Hiking events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding vital research.

Money raised from the events will help Cancer Research UK scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, helping save more lives.

Paula Young, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for Staffordshire, said: “We’re delighted that Bethany and her family will be joining us as Weston Park’s first ever Pretty Muddy Kids event. The obstacle course promises plenty of fun, thrills and spills and we hope her story will inspire other children to rally their friends, family and schoolmates to sign up and get messy for Cancer Research UK.

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“Children can complete the Pretty Muddy Kids course at their own pace, climbing, jumping, walking and laughing their way around. Whether they’re bouncing on a space hopper or clambering under a cargo net, every muddy step they take will help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

The entry fee for Pretty Muddy Kids is £10. The event is open to boys and girls aged between five and 13 and there is a minimum height requirement of 1.2m. All children must be accompanied by a supervising adult, who have free entry to the event.

To sponsor Bethany and Sophie visit https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/beckys-race-for-life-709

To enter Race for Life Pretty Muddy Kids go to www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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