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St Albans mother, Julie Farmer, inspires during Cancer Research UK challenge, Shine
A St Albans mother, who is about to battle with cancer for the second time, played a leading role in an overnight challenge to fund research into the disease.
Julie Farmer, 44, who lives in the Cell Barnes area, took to the stage at the recent Cancer Research UK night-time walking marathon or half-marathon, Shine, to tell thousands of walkers how important their role was in helping people like her fight cancer.
The mother-of-three’s moving story prompted huge applause. Despite following a healthy lifestyle, Julie was diagnosed with bowel cancer just over a year ago.
Following surgery, doctors found the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and Julie faced several months of gruelling chemotherapy which finished earlier this year.
While recovering, Julie, a London Marathon runner, was prompted by her experience to walk 26-miles at Shine with one of her daughters and some friends, but she recently learned she needed more surgery and doctors advised her not to undertake the challenge.
Despite this, she was determined to play a part and after encouraging her daughter Jemma, 25, and friends at various points during their marathon challenge, she joined them for the last six miles.
She said: "It was a really good night and totally different to the London Marathon. I was a bit daunted about going up on stage and talking to such a big crowd. But they showed their support and that helped me".
Julie, who started another three months of chemotherapy on Monday, October 14 added: "I did all the right things. Eating a varied diet, not smoking, exercising regularly and drinking in moderation and I still faced cancer.
"I want to raise awareness about the disease, especially for younger people as this particular cancer is usually associated with the over-60s.
"It is particularly important to get any unusual symptoms checked out."
Julie also wants to encourage people from the area who took part in Shine to ensure they return their sponsorship money.
Julie and her daughter, Jemma, have raised £2,540 after joining the thousands of people who illuminated themselves with lights, glow-sticks and sparkling outfits to form a human road of light and symbolise the hope the charity’s research scientists bring to the dark days of cancer.
It is hoped more than £3.5million will be raised from the event in London. Since it began in 2010, over 38,000 walkers have helped raise nearly £9m.
To sponsor Julie and Jemma visit: http://www.justgiving.com/teams/julieandjem.
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