Couple mark cancer milestone with Run in the Park that changed their lives in 2012

25th April 2016

A couple from Sheffield are taking on a 10k run this July to support their local cancer hospital after a cancer fight that changed their lives forever.

Alison (41) and Kristy Kingfisher from Owlthorpe have signed up for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity's annual Run in the Park event to mark a memorable end of treatment milestone, 5 years on from Alison receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer. The determined duo, who say the event will be 'so much more than just a run' for them, will not only mark the end of Alison's treatment this year, but also their 5 year wedding anniversary and a time of reflection on a period which gave them many more highs than lows. Now into its eighth year, the cancer charity is encouraging participants of all ages and abilities to take on either the 3k fun run or 10k race on the 10th July through Graves Park as part of this popular event. Weston Park Hospital is one of only a handful of specialist cancer hospitals in England and treats patients from all over South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire a population of almost 1.8million people. Run in the Park welcomes families, friends and colleagues to don their running vests in support of the cancer charity and is well attended by both hospital staff, fundraisers and former and current patients alike. In 2011, just 6 weeks before Alison and Kristy were set to get married; Alison visited her GP after finding a lump in her breast and was referred directly to the Hallamshire Hospital where she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following their unwelcome news and concern that their wedding and honeymoon was just around the corner, Alison was referred to start Radiotherapy treatment at Weston Park Hospital- to begin after their big day. In a bid to support the work of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, the couple signed up to Run in the Park in 2012 and crossed the line just months after Alison's radiotherapy treatment had finished. Alison, who works for a print company said, -Run in the Park is an incredibly poignant event for both me and Kristy. We ran the 10k 4 years ago, just months after I was first diagnosed and it will be an incredibly emotional day for us as it coincides with the end of my 5 year hormone treatment for breast cancer. -Over the last few years our lives have changed dramatically for the better and although it's a strange way to look at it, cancer has actually improved the quality of our lives and our outlook for the future. -Before taking part in Run in the Park all those years ago, we had never supported local charities and we were relatively new to running. Now, we do all we can to support the work of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity and we run regularly which has had huge benefits on our physical and mental health. Since Alison's positive experience of the hospital, Kristy and Alison have supported various events organised by the cancer charity including taking part in their popular woodland walk, Light the Night. In a bid to raise funds to support vital projects to improve the research, treatment and care of cancer patients across the region, the couple have set themselves a challenge to make a personal donation to their fundraising total for every training run they complete in the lead up the event. Alison continued, -Instead of heading to the pub for a pint, we're popping the pounds into our fundraising collections and seeing who can raise the most before race day! -Weston Park Hospital saved my life and I will do whatever I can to support this brilliant place for the as long as I am able. Run in the Park is a fantastic event where our friends and family can cheer us on from the side-lines and be part of this special day. -Weston Park Hospital is more than just a hospital and Run in the Park is more than just a charity race- both proved to be lifelines for me and I'll never forget, or regret, my experience. Now just months away from finishing her hormone treatment, Alison is looking forward to a happy and healthy future together with Kristy and says she'll always keep the hospital at the forefront of her mind by returning to buy her charity Christmas cards each year. Entries are now open for both the 10k race and 3k family fun run, which will raise vital funds for the Cancer Charity and help keep more families in our region together for longer. Participants are being encouraged to raise over £30 in sponsorship for their very own 2016 Run in the Park t-shirt to wear on the day. The charity needs to raise over £2 million this year to enable the funding of committed and new projects that will keep patients at the forefront of cancer treatment. Charity Fundraising Manager, Helen Gentle said, -This year, we are honoured to have runners signing up to Run in the Park who are marking special anniversaries or milestones in their lives. -Alison and Kristy will be amongst hundreds of other participants on the day who have their own reasons for supporting the work of the cancer charity, and the more money we raise, the more support we can provide to those receiving vital treatment at Weston Park Hospital. -For many people like Alison, this event will be so much more than a run, and we want to encourage those thinking of setting themselves a special challenge or marking a poignant year to join us on the 10th July. To register for Run in the Park visit www.runinthepark.org.uk or ring the Cancer Charity office on 0114 2265370.

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