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11 March 2010, 06:25
Amazing Mum Claire Blair has battled cancer against all the odds.
For the last two years, Claire from Stowmarket has watched from the sidelines as her two oldest daughters took part in Cancer Research UK's Race for Life in her honour.
In September 2006 she given just two weeks to live. Now she is determined to do something amazing by participating in the 5k event with all three of her daughters – Abbi (7), Lolli (5) and Micki (3).
And she is calling on anyone who can to either sponsor them or join them by taking part in the Race for Life at Chantry Park, Ipswich, on June 13.
Although she is still living with cancer, the 36-year-old considers herself one of the lucky ones.
“I never thought I would see this day so I feel very fortunate,” said Claire who is married to Mark and still works as a TV licensing sales officer. “When I was diagnosed I was in the worst possible situation. I was told I had about two weeks to live because the cancer had spread to my liver and bones. Not many people have been where I’ve been and bounced back.”
Claire was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in September 2006 when her youngest daughter Micki was just five months old. Doctors initially thought Claire had Hepatitis and kept her in overnight for tests. But even before the results came back she realised something was more seriously wrong.
“I could tell by the way the staff were treating me that the results were going to show something terrible but I had no idea how awful it would be,” said Claire, who grew up in Bury St Edmunds. “Whatever it was I couldn’t face telling my parents on the phone so my husband Mark and I drove over to their house at midnight the night before I was due to get the results to tell them. I remember sitting on their bed at their home in Bury St Edmunds and saying I didn’t know what it was but it was going to be bad news. They were heartbroken.”
The following day Claire’s worst fears were realised when doctors confirmed that she had terminal breast cancer.
“I asked them how long I had and when they told me two weeks I immediately thought that if that’s all I had I didn’t want any of that chemotherapy nonsense! The nurse told me to think of it as a treadmill and if I didn’t like it I could get off so I had chemotherapy the following day and went back home.
“I actually bought little angel dresses for the children to wear to my funeral and they’re up in the loft now. Now I’m hoping that one day they will be able to give them to their children.
“There will come a time when I will get knocked back but I’m not dying while I have three small children – I’m living with cancer and I’m very thankful for the time I’ve been given.
“That’s why I feel so passionately about raising funds for research. Without it people like me wouldn’t stand a chance.”
Hear more from Claire throughout the morning on Heart's news bulletins.
Claire and her daughters are hoping to raise more than £3,000 for Cancer Research UK by taking part in Race for Life.
In 2009, 8,400 women took part in Race for Life events across Suffolk and helped raise an incredible £354,851. In 2010, Cancer Research UK is encouraging 8,500 women to hit a fundraising target of £473,266.
Gemma Turpin, Event Manager for Race for Life in East Anglia, said: “Claire is a true inspiration to mothers everywhere and we’re thrilled that she’s well enough to consider taking part this year".