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5K Your Way – A cancer support group with a difference

A new initiative aimed at supporting people living with cancer – as well as friends and family impacted by it – has been launched as part of the popular weekly Park Run programme.

5k Your Way is a monthly event run alongside Shrewsbury Quarry’s Park Run to enable cancer patients and their families to take part in regular exercise – and highlight the importance of maintaining fitness wherever possible. We have teamed up with the organisers to encourage those dealing with cancer in their lives, to take part.

The project began as a national movement and a Shrewsbury group has been established by six ambassadors – some of whom have gone through their own cancer diagnosis – to offer support and understanding to people as they walk, jog, or run the 5km Park Run route. It will run as part of the last Saturday Park Run in the month starting at 9am, this Saturday (25th September).

Sarah Mawhinney is one of the ambassadors who helped establish the group after going through her own personal cancer diagnosis.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. I heard about the 5K Your Way and even before I had cancer I thought what a good idea this was, being active is the best thing.

“I applied to become an ambassador to help local people here in Shrewsbury, and a few other people had too so we linked together. It’s open to people going through cancer treatment, living after treatment, or family members who have been affected and may have lost someone to cancer.

“I know from personal experience that keeping active throughout my cancer treatment definitely helped my recovery through each cycle of chemotherapy. I am sure it made a big difference” she added.

Sarah said she received excellent care at the Lingen Davies Cancer Centre and wants to encourage other people going through the same thing to join her and her 5K Your Way colleagues.

“When I was diagnosed I was essentially left to my own devices about what level of exercise I could do. I was used to listening to my body and I felt fine but I know a lot of other people are put off. Throughout my treatment I carried on going to Park Run that really helped me more than anything. Being part of that community and feeling normal for half an hour or so was wonderful.

“People don’t have to run, they can walk. It’s intended to be a social, supportive group, a sports group with a difference,” she added.

Helen Knight, development manager for Lingen Davies, said the 5K Your Way was an excellent idea and accessible way for cancer patients to maintain their fitness wherever possible.

“We are delighted to partner with Sarah and her colleagues to encourage cancer patients to take part in 5K Your Way.

“Everyone has different experiences as they deal with cancer treatment and we know for some people doing anything physical can be very difficult. Being able to access this monthly support session – whether someone is running or walking – can be a vital lifeline for many patients, and their families, to maintain fitness, perhaps build up their fitness again, or just enjoy the company of others,” she added.

For more details on the project visit the website 5k Your Way. Move Against Cancer and register for your free Park Run barcode. Sarah and her team are recognisable in The Quarry from their tshirts and banners.

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