Sunderland sisters take on London Marathon in memory of mother

Heather Mitchell and sister Sue Storey.

Heather Mitchell and sister Sue Storey.

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SUNDERLAND sisters Sue Storey and Heather Mitchell are hitting the road in memory of their mother.

The pair are running the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 26 for Bowel Cancer UK after their mum Fran Storey died of the disease in 1996.

Les and Fran Storey.

Les and Fran Storey.

Sue, 43, said: “Our mam died of bowel cancer about 18 years ago after trying to fight it off with vim and vigour.

“Then our Aunty Norma, mam’s sister, died of it too a few years later. I have two sisters and I worry about us all, given the genetic nature of this cancer.

“If bowel cancer is caught early enough, nearly 90 per cent of cases are treatable – mam’s statistics were nowhere near that good.”

“We were inspired by our friend Gill, who ran the marathon last year, and thought that we needed a new challenge. We are not natural runners, so this really is a massive challenge for us both.”

Sister Heather, 47, added: “Mam fought her disease with great courage and humility.

“To have helped nurse her through the last few months of her life shaped us as human beings in a way no other experience has.

“The world was a better place with her in it and we are definitely better people for having known her.

“We have mostly got used to living our lives without her physically being in it, although, she is never far from our thoughts and no matter how hard or painful running 26.2 miles will be, it will pale into insignificance in comparison with what we saw her cope with on an almost daily basis.”

Although both now live down South, Sue and Heather’s dad Les Storey still lives in Sunderland, and runs his own business as a health centre pharmacist. The women also have an older sister, Jane, 50.

Every year, 41,500 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer and about 16,000 people die of the disease.

Anyone with their own place in the London Marathon interested in joining the Bowel Cancer UK team can contact events@bowelcanceruk.org.uk for a fundraising pack.

Donations can be made to Sue and Heather’s JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/sue-heather/