MUM Kate Arnold’s courage sums up what the Race for Life is all about.
Despite being diagnosed with an incurable cancer, the mother-of-two will join thousands of others to pound the streets of Southsea tomorrow for the annual charity fundraiser.
Kate, who first ran the race two years ago in tribute to a family friend, has got more than 30 friends and their children taking part in the event under the name Kate’s Angels.
She said: ‘I saw on the website that you could register as a group, so that’s where the name came from. It was just a quick thing, but it’s stuck pretty well.
‘I was only aiming for £100 at first, but it’s already topped £1,200.’
Kate was told she had a high grade neuroendocrine tumour, a rare form of cancer, in her liver in April.
But after having a scan, a primary tumour was discovered in her stomach.
The 36-year-old said: ‘Back in March I thought I had flu, and then over a couple of weeks I developed a pain in my right-hand side. At first my doctor thought it was gallstones, but he sent me for a scan and it showed the tumours in my liver.’
Even though Kate has been undergoing regular chemotherapy, operating on it is not an option.
Kate, of The Glebe in Stubbington, said: ‘They can’t operate because it is still quite large in my liver.
‘I’m pretty determined that it’s not going to come back. The chemo is to push it back into remission as far as possible, but there is every chance it will come back.
‘It is a very aggressive form of cancer, and that’s why it’s spread so quickly.
‘The last scan was very positive, and in my consultant’s words, instead of having a tumour with a bit of liver, I have a liver with a bit of tumour. But it is incurable, and we just have to monitor it and hope it doesn’t come back again.’
Her children, Jess, six and Tom, three, have been told how sick Kate is.
Kate said: ‘Jess does know, We’ve worked with the school to get her a good understanding of what it’s about and she’s been brilliant.
‘Tom has a bit of an understanding as well – he knows there are lumps there and they need to go.
‘He gave me a cuddle the other day and said: “That will make the lumps go down”.
‘I’ve got one more round of chemo before the race, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse – I don’t think I will be allowed to by the others.
‘It knocks me on my back for a few days, makes me very tired, but thankfully it hasn’t made me nauseous.’
There are now more than 30 people in the group, including Jess’ friends at Crofton Hammond Infant School, their mums, her colleagues and old university friends from as far afield as London and Shropshire.
Friend Alison Jones, from Hill Head, said: ‘My daughter Anna is best friends with Jess, so I was always going to be involved.
‘It seemed like a good idea and we have had a bit of fun sorting it all out – Everyone’s going to get dressed up at least a bit.
‘Anna said to me the other day: “We’ve got to walk really fast to raise enough money to make Kate better”.’
To sponsor the team go to raceforlifesponsorme.org/kates-angels. The 10k race starts at 9am tomorrow from Clarence Esplanade, Southsea. The 5km at 11.30am.