Leonie Heard: Northampton Race for Life team make me so proud

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I wanted to draw your attention to the amazing support I have received since joining this year’s Race for Life in Abington Park.

I have raced before with friends but have never really known to what extent it can affect people in a positive way.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2016 and began chemotherapy on my 40th birthday.

I am a keen runner and the day after diagnosis I got up in a panic of “how am I going to cope?” and took myself to Parkrun on the Racecourse. All the way round I said to myself “if I can’t do this, how can I get though my treatment?”.

It was then I decided I would do Race for Life, not as someone with a family member who has been affected, but as someone who has cancer and is fighting it and will truly know what it means to feel the support and encouragement of it.

When I signed up I created a group called “Leonie’s sisterhood” just incase any friends wanted to join.

Little did I know what would happen!

We now have 60-plus, and growing, in the sisterhood running with me.

It has far surpassed any expectation and helps me every day and we haven’t even ran yet!

I have chosen “peace and love” as the group theme. We will be the ones adorned in flowers.

“Peace”, for this is what I search for to help me cope during my treatment and “love” for all the amazing support I have.

I chose to write to you as I don’t know how to thank all of the people who are running, walking or crawling (whatever it takes) to finish.

I will be taking part two weeks after my last chemotherapy so it will be both an emotional and physical challenge for me.

If you could help me to thank my “sisterhood” I would be incredibly grateful.