A COURAGEOUS niece is embarking on the Edinburgh Half Marathon on Sunday in memory of her uncle.
Nineteen-year-old Kerry-Anne Smith is running the 13-mile course to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, after losing her uncle, Stephen Todd from Ayton, to cancer in October 2008.
She said: “My uncle Stephen was my inspiration and it is because of him that I have decided to run for Macmillan.”
Steven died aged just 36. He had been diagnosed with cancer in June 2006 after finding a lump on his back.
He underwent surgery to remove tumours in his back, but later scans found the cancer had spread to his lungs, liver and bowel.
Kerry-Anne, of Selkirk, explained: “He was told the cancer was terminal but decided to undertake a drug trial.”
Unfortunately, unbeknown to Stephen, he had Crohns disease and he reacted very badly to the drugs.
“At one point he was given just 72-hours to live but he pulled through, only to spend the next three months in hospital recovering,” Kerry-anne said.
After returning home, Stephen started chemotherapy, but just weeks later doctors discovered the cancer had spread to his brain.
He underwent radiotherapy but the treatment didn’t affect the cancer, and Stephen died.
Kerry-Anne said: “Even when he was ill he chose to try the drug trial, not just because he wanted to see if it would save him, but also to help cancer research and help others in the future.”
She added: “I’m sure lots of us out there know of someone who is suffering or has suffered from cancer and will agree this is an amazing cause to support.
“I lost an amazing uncle at the age of 36. I’ve also had lots of friends and family that have suffered from cancer and managed to fight through it.
“When I’m running for Macmillan I’ll be thinking of my uncle Stephen and he’ll help me keep going.”
Those wishing to donate can visit Kerry’s just giving page at www.justgiving.com/kerry-anne-smith0