Leading The London Pride Walk

Survivor Flora and baby daughter Isabella urge others to join them to raise funds for Cancer Research UK

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For more details visit: London Pride Walk 2009 or call 08701 602040.

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Flora Skeates and baby daughter Isabella will be at the head of a major fundraising drive for Cancer Research UK– and they are inviting other mums and toddlers to join them.

Local resident Flora is taking part in the Cancer Research UK London Pride Walk and Fun Run 2009 on July 19th.

Flora has compelling reasons to take part in the event – she has twice survived bowel cancer and without pioneering treatment, she may not have survived to have her baby daughter.

Flora, 34, pictured right with Isabella, now 15 months, has no qualms about spreading the message on bowel cancer and the ongoing need to fund further research.

She said, “I was 28 when I was first diagnosed with cancer. There was no reason why I should get it – I lived a fairly healthy lifestyle, I wasn’t overweight and I exercised regularly – but I did get it, first in the summer of 2003 and again in January 2005.

“I was just unlucky that I had a re-occurrence as that is very unusual but I was lucky that it was a type of cancer that if caught early enough, is very treatable. Bowel cancer is now like breast cancer was 10 years ago – people are embarrased to talk abut it. Brits aren’t comfortable speaking about going to the loo or their symptoms, so they ignore it.

“But it is one of the best cancers to get if you catch it early so I am all for raising public awareness of it.”

Flora under went surgery to remove her first tumour and surgery and six months of chemotherapy to rid her of the second one. She is now well but undergoes regular checks.

Flora’s father James Coutts, himself a survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and her mum Stephanie who volunteers in a Cancer Research UK shop, will also be taking part in the walk, along with Flora’s husband James.

Flora said, “The London Pride Walk is a lovely event along the Thames and it’s perfect for prams, buggies, dogs – and of course dads, grans, grandads and anyone else who wants to join in. You don’t have to run – just stroll along at your own pace and enjoy the views. And of course it all raises money for the work of Cancer Research UK at Hammersmith Hospital.”

Hammersmith Hospital is one of Cancer Research UK’s pioneering centres. The work there includes investigating links between hormones and breast cancer, and running clinical trials, testing new treatments for lung, prostate and breast cancer. This life-saving work is funded almost entirely by public donations.

The London Pride walk starts at Homefields Park South, next to the Griffin Brewery, with an aerobic warm up at 10.15am, followed by the walk at 10.30am. Water will be provided halfway round the circular route, and at the finish, Fullers will provide a free drink and a certificate for everyone.

After the walk there will be entertainment in Homefields Park South, including a BBQ, music and a raffle.

The event is free to enter thanks to sponsorship by Fullers and participants are asked to register in advance. Anyone wishing to enter on the day will be asked for a donation. Individual entrants and teams are welcome, as is fancy dress!

June 17, 2009