Cancer survivor running marathon to raise money for charity which helped her through treatment

A Manchester mum is running the Manchester Half Marathon – to raise money for the charity that supported her through her cancer treatment.

 Laura Derbyshire, from Salford, will take on the 13.1-mile race on October 9, despite only taking up running while undergoing radiotherapy.

The estate management officer, 41, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in July 2020 after finding a lump – during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 “I broke the news to my family while stood socially distanced at the end of their driveway,” said Laura.

JOGGING BACK TO HEALTH: Laura and her sister after completing a colour run

“Dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment is tough anyway, but to do it virtually alone without being able to have my family and friends physically at my side for support was even harder.”

Detailing the first stages of her treatment, she added: “I was lucky enough to border two hospitals and I got to witness first-hand the care and support from both the Royal Bolton Hospital and The Christie.”

 And it was while undergoing radiotherapy after her operation that Laura decided to take up running, which she credits for saving her life.

“I wasn’t a runner at all,” she confessed. “But I had spent so long inside the house, I craved being outside.

“I started off by walking, and then I joined a local Couch to 5k group, and the rest is history.”

 Laura is running alongside her sister Helen, with the pair are aiming to raise £3,225 for the Northcare Charity, which will purchase a DOT (deep oscillation therapy) machine for Salford Royal.

“The DOT machine not only helps people who have had cancer treatment,” she explained. “But it works on any scar, for men and women, and I really believe this treatment should be available to everyone, no matter where you live.

“October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I want to encourage people to regularly check their breasts and get to know your own bodies.”

You can sponsor Laura via her Just Giving Page: Laura-Jayne Derbyshire is fundraising for Northcare Charity (

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