BREAST cancer patient Vanessa Denman is one of thousands taking on Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at Lydiard Park this weekend.

English teacher and charity worker, Vanessa, 47, of Crawford Close, Fresh-brook, was diagnosed with the condition last year and has been receiving treatment at Great Western Hospital. She had her left breast removed last month.

The annual women-only fundraiser is taking place today and tomorrow with entrants tackling a 5k or 10k course. Former New College teacher Vanessa is a member of a team of 15 taking part in Sunday’s 5k with the event as a whole looking to raise around £225,000 for the charity’s research work.

Vanessa said: “I’m feeling really good about it. I have to admit, it has been an emotional time as yesterday was a year to the day when I was diagnosed and on Sunday it will be a month since my mastectomy. “I’m looking forward to taking part, whether I end up running or walking it, raising awareness of the charity’s good work and helping to kick cancer.”

Vanessa said she’s had great support from family and friends in her battle to overcome her illness. Her team, The Krazy Crew, is made up of staff from her local Tesco branch and so far they’ve raised £600.

Vanessa said: “I’ve been overwhelmed by everyone who has backed me, especially Katrina Pullen, Michelle Hobbs and Geraldine Zarola. I go to Tesco’s cafe, they give me a cup of coffee, ask how I’m doing and are moved by my story.”

Vanessa has had a breast implant and has weekly check ups at the hospital. She is awaiting the results of tests which might require her to have her right breast removed as well.

Vanessa said: “The staff from the breast cancer clinic have been fantastic to me and I feel like I’m in good hands.

“I’ve nearly died twice during this treatment but I’m looking forward positively. I know it sounds a little cheesy but I’m taking one day at a time, I want to embrace every day, enjoy every day and create some great moments.”

Simon Burley, Swindon’s Race for Life event manager, said that preparations for this weekend’s events are going well and that they have more participants than last year.

He said: “We arepleased with the amount of entrants we’ve had. “Last year, we got 3,645 and this time around we’ve 3,750 which is fantastic. We are excited about having a great event and we’ve heard that the weather will be good so we’ve got our fingers crossed for that.”

To sponsor Vanessa’s team visit