Family's special effort in Race for Life

JUST five months ago life was turned upside down for one Ipswich family, when Sarah Saggers was diagnosed with breast cancer.

JUST five months ago life was turned upside down for one Ipswich family, when Sarah Saggers was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Determined to help her fight the disease, her mum, three sisters, aunt, niece and cousin are joining forces to run the Race for Life, in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Sarah, who is living with her parents at Mallowhayes Close, was diagnosed with breast cancer after finding what she and her doctor thought was just a blocked gland.

The 36-year-old had just finished breast feeding her 18-month-old son Callum when she noticed the lump.

Following a mastectomy, she is now undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and faces further radiotherapy to help try and beat the disease.

Sarah said: “It is great to have such amazing support from my whole family. I have to take each day as it comes, I have got six more rounds of chemo and then a break before I start my radiotherapy.

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“Callum does know mummy is ill, he can see I have lost my hair. I didn't think he would but he gives me big hugs in the mornings.

“I don't know how I would cope without my mum and sisters help, they have been my rock.

“My partner would love me to come home, but my mum knows what I am going through, her mum went through the same.

“I did think why me? But I am fighting it, I want to see Callum grow up.

“Two days before New Year's Day I decided I would stop breast feeding him, I was washing myself when I found it, I thought something wasn't right.

“I only found one lump but I had two. I went to the doctors and we thought it was just a blocked milk duct, I left it a couple of days and it got bigger.

“On February 17 I had my operation, it was quite quick.”

Her younger sister, Shelley Boak, 33, said they are determined to raise people's awareness, urging women of all ages to check themselves.

The fitness instructor for Ipswich council said: “It is so important women understand the relevance of checking for lumps early.

“My Nan died of this disease 12 years ago and my sister is fighting it now, and I have four friends also fighting the disease and they are all under 40, and all live in Ipswich.

“To know five people so young fighting the disease is just scary.

“These last few months have completely opened our eyes to the disease and we just want to do as much as possible to help find a treatment or find a cure.

“We are hopeful, it is a long journey but Sarah has got of family and a lot of support around her,” Shelley added.

Mum Pat Saggers said: “I am looking forward to the race with mixed emotions, I lost my mum to breast cancer and we are going through it again with my daughter, it is very difficult, it brings back memories.

“I am just pleased my girls are all doing it with me, as a family we are all pulling together.”

She is running the Race for Life with three of her daughters, Shelley, Eleanor and Mia on the 5k route around Chantry Park on June 7 with the rest of their family, and Sarah watching from the sidelines.

To sponsor them contact Shelley through any of Ipswich Borough Council's sport's centres.

In its 16th year it is the largest, women-only fundraising event in the UK.

Every pound raised goes towards Cancer Research UK's pioneering work to beat cancer.

It funds the work of over 4,500 scientists, doctors and nurses who dedicate their work to helping more people beat cancer.

So far four million women have helped raise more than �240million.

Events take place across the country from May to July and women can walk, jog or run the 5k courses.

This year it is estimated 680,000 women will take part to raise more than �62.5million.