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Cancer fight father to open Wolverhampton's Race for Life - WATCH

By Heather Large | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A father given 12 months to live nearly five years ago has been chosen to sound the starter horn Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life alongside his proud wife and daughter.

Cancer survivor Adrian Webb will start Race for Life, Wolverhampton, with wife Michele and daughter Amelia

Adrian Webb will join wife, Michele and daughter Amelia on stage to celebrate Father's Day in style at Wolverhampton's West Park on June 17.

More than 1,000 women are taking part in the event including Michele and Amelia who will run the 5k for the second time in honour of Adrian who was diagnosed with skin cancer in September 2012.

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“Father’s Day is going to be really special this year,” said Adrian, from Dudley, who also has a son, Josh. “It’s a great privilege to be asked to start Race for Life because it’s entirely down to research that I’m here today,” he added.

The 52-year-old received surgery and radiotherapy after being diagnosed but, two months after treatment ended, he discovered the cancer had spread to his lungs, liver, spleen, bowel and spine.

“I cried like a baby because I was convinced I was going to die,” said the music distribution manager from Netherton. “It took me a while to come back from that but, in the end, I thought ‘this is my life and I’m going to live it'," he added.

To help him on the road to recovery, he was given three brand new drugs over the course of the following three years and is now in remission.

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Speaking for the first time about her husband’s ordeal, Michele said: “Our whole world came crashing down when we found out Adrian had cancer. My first thoughts were how do we tell Josh and Amelia? It was so hard to get through those first days but the kids were fantastic and really supportive.

“We never imagined we’d be doing Race for Life five years later with Adrian cheering us on so it’s fantastic to be able to do it on Father’s Day in his honour.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a women-only series of 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding crucial research.

The Wolverhampton event is one of 37 taking place across the West Midlands throughout the summer.

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Money raised through Race for Life helps Cancer Research UK to fund long-term research and pioneering trials, leading to new tests and kinder, life-saving treatments.

The charity's research and clinical trials have helped doctors use the drug tamoxifen to its full potential, revolutionising treatment and prevention of breast cancer and boosting survival. And the charity’s early research work helped develop cisplatin, which is now used to treat testicular and other types of cancer.

Adrian said: “I’m living proof that, through investment, we’re winning. That’s why Race for Life is so important. It’s thanks to all the mums, grans, daughters and friends who take part in Race for Life and help fund vital research that Cancer Research UK’s scientists and doctors can continue their efforts to beat the disease. That’s why I’m calling on women everywhere to join the fight and sign up today.”

Paula Young, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the West Midlands, said: “We’d like to thank Adrian and his family for their unwavering support along with every woman who has signed up for Race for Life.

“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and we couldn’t continue our life-saving work without the support of the public.

"Money raised through Race for Life is helping to drive research to help beat over 200 different types of cancer - that’s why every person who crosses the finish line can make a real difference.”

Race for Life will take place at Himley Hall on July 8 and Pretty Muddy events will be held at Sandwell Valley Country Park on September 29.

To enter Race for Life today visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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