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Staffordshire cancer research scientist vows to Race for Life at home

By Heather Large | Staffordshire | Health | Published:

A cancer research scientist is inspiring people to Race for Life at Home and carry on the fight against the disease.

Megan Mylrea, from Alrewas, is aiming to run 25 miles to help raise more than £2,000 towards Cancer Research UK’s lifesaving research

Megan Mylrea, from Alrewas, near Lichfield, is aiming to run 25 miles to help raise more than £2,000 towards Cancer Research UK’s lifesaving research.

The charity expects to see its fund-raising income decline by up to 25 per cent in the next financial year as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Megan, a former John Taylor High School pupil is joining forces with colleagues at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, part of The University of Manchester, where she’s currently studying for a PhD in the Institute’s Drug Discovery Unit.

Megan and her colleagues had to find ways to continue their work from home after the institute closed during lockdown, temporarily bringing a halt to lab-based work.

Knowing how much the lockdown would affect the charity’s income, the team decided to get sponsored to run or cycle 25 miles each. Together they are aiming to raise £2,600 for research.

“You only have to see the amazing research that’s going on in our institute and understand the impact that could have on thousands of patients to grasp how vital that money is,” said Megan, aged 23.

“Cancer won’t stop just because funding stops. That’s why we wanted to do our bit to support that work.”

With more than 400 Race for Life events now cancelled across the UK, Megan and her colleagues are hoping to inspire others to sign up to Race at Home.

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Join the Race for Life at Home!

Fundraising like this is crucial now more than ever, with Cancer Research UK saying it expects to see its fundraising income decline by up to 25 per cent in the next financial year as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Without the funding that comes from events such as Race for Life we would not be able to continue our life-saving work,” said Megan, a chemist whose work is investigating ways to target cancer-causing proteins using small molecules.

“I’ve never been a runner but it’s been nice to focus on a positive challenge during lockdown. I’ve lost several immediate family members to cancer so it’s good to be able to see first-hand the exciting research being done to improve cancer survival rates, all of which is made possible through generous donations to CRUK.”

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Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 5K, 10K, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which normally raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.

Paula Young, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for Staffordshire, said: “At a time when it feels like everything is at a standstill, there is one thing that hasn’t stopped, cancer.

“Our priority as a charity is ensuring that people affected by cancer are getting the support they need right now. To see our own researchers stepping up to this challenge is really humbling and I hope it will inspire many others to join them and take on their own Race for Life at Home activity.

“We encourage people to participate in whatever way they like and there are lots of ideas on the Race for Life website. We appreciate that the current situation has resulted in financial uncertainty for many people, so people should only contribute sponsor money if they feel able to.”

People can visit raceforlife.org and sign up free for ideas on how to create a Race for Life at Home challenge. Organisers are also inviting participants to share photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #RaceForLifeAtHome.

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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