A GEORGEHAM mother-of-three who lost her mum to cancer is encouraging other women in North Devon to sign up for this year s Race For Life in aid of Cancer Research UK. Rosie Austin, 39, will be taking part in memory of her mother, Jenny Sparks, who died
A GEORGEHAM mother-of-three who lost her mum to cancer is encouraging other women in North Devon to sign up for this year's Race For Life in aid of Cancer Research UK. Rosie Austin, 39, will be taking part in memory of her mother, Jenny Sparks, who died aged 64 in December 2005 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Rosie and six-year-old daughter Anna will be taking part in one of the two Race For Life events in Barnstaple on Sunday, June 15.Participants can walk, jog or run around the five-kilometre course starting at 11am and 14.30pm.On the same weekend, an overnight community event called Relay For Life will be taking place in nearby Braunton, also raising money for Cancer Research UK. Rosie, who also has two 13-year-old boys, Sam and Nick, explained how her mum's battle with cancer had started. "Mum was diagnosed about five years before she died, after she had a rash, which turned out to be a possible indicator of cancer," she said. "One of the doctors suggested doing some scans and they found cysts on her ovaries."She had a hysterectomy and started on a course of chemotherapy, and she went into remission. "But the cancer came back in 2004 and she had more chemotherapy, but in August 2005, the doctors said the treatment wasn't working. "We had a last family holiday in Dublin in October and mum and dad went to Lanzarote in November, but after that, the condition worsened, and we lost her just before Christmas." Rosie said it had been a difficult time for all the family - her father John Sparks, her sister Cathy Appleton and her brothers Malcolm and Howard Sparks."Mum had a very strong faith, which made a lot of difference, and I feel fortunate to have been able to spend time with her at the end, as a lot of people don't have that chance," she added. n To enter Race for Life, or for more information, visit the website www.raceforlife.org/southwest or call the hotline on 0871 6412279.