SISTERS who lost their beloved mum to a rare cancer gene will be running in her memory at tomorrow’s Race for Life.
Kay McGurrell died in February aged just 34, after developing the killer condition for a second time.
After winning a battle with breast cancer when she was just 23, the mum-of-two from Fulwell, was determined to live life to the full, throwing herself into fund-raising and family life.
But on January 30 she was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. Her health quickly deteriorated and within a month she lapsed into a coma and died on February 27, surrounded by her family, at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Now daughters Abigail, 13, and Janey, seven, will continue her legacy as they take part in the 5k fund-raising run at Herrington Country Park.
They will be joined by grandmother Margaret, 61, and aunt Karen, 37, all wearing pink T-shirts with Kay and Karen’s photo on.
Karen, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 14 and breast cancer at 32, will be there to support Monkwearmouth School pupil Abigail and Janey, who goes to Fulwell Infants.
Kay’s partner of 15 years, Simon Harrison, 41, will also cheer his daughters on, along with Kay’s best friend Lorraine Fucille.
Simon faced his own struggle with the deadly disease after developing kidney cancer last year.
The proud dad, who works as a painter, said: “Everyone is running for different people, but at the end of the day we are all running for the same thing. We want to get as much money as we can for the charity.”
He added: “I am trying to be mam and dad, and sometimes I struggle, but we just try to stick together and do the best we can.”
The close-knit family has come together in a bid to raise funds for Cancer Research, with more than £300 promised so far.
Spurred on by surviving her first cancer diagnosis, Kay, along with sister Karen, 38, became a passionate fund-raiser for the charity.
They would cross Race for Life finish lines hand-in-hand after discovering they suffered from a genetic condition known as Li-Fraumeni’s syndrome, which affects only 400 families in the world and increases their risk of developing cancer early in life.
Donations can be made at www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/Kaysgirls-2013.
l Don’t miss Monday’s Sunderland Echo for all our Race for Life coverage.