A TOUGH mum who beat breast cancer and ran a marathon four months later has been chosen to spearhead a national campaign.
Nathalie Rees, from Hoole, has been named as one of 26 Go the Distance Ambassadors for Cancer Research UK.
The 44-year-old was picked for her gutsy battle with the disease, and is now tasked with inspiring her community to take up a running challenge to raise money for the charity.
Nathalie, of Melkridge Close, said: “Cancer Research UK is very close to my heart and I am delighted to have been chosen as an ambassador in the charity’s very special year of running. I was shocked and devastated when I was diagnosed with cancer but, thanks to research, I am still here today.”
She was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago after finding a lump in her left breast and says she will never forget having to tell her daughter Rebecca, then aged 12, that she had the disease.
Nathalie, who works at the University of Chester, underwent a lumpectomy at the Countess of Chester Hospital, followed by chemotherapy treatment.
She was also referred to Clatterbridge Hospital for six weeks of radiotherapy and now has yearly check-ups.
In April 2013, four months after finishing her treatment, Nathalie, a member of Chester Road Runners, completed the 26-mile London Marathon.
She also took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life event that summer and since having the disease Nathalie has raised more than £10,000 for charity.
This year she plans to complete Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at the racecourse on Sunday, July 20; is doing the Great North Run in September; the Berlin Marathon the same month; and the Chicago Marathon in October.
She also hopes to complete both the Boston and London Marathons in 2015 despite being just days apart.
Cancer Research UK is the official charity partner of the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2015.
Nathalie said: “I’m calling on people across Chester to take on just one running challenge over the next 12 months, big or small. Cancer Research UK offers a range of events to suit every age and ability.”
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, added: “Every hour, around four people are diagnosed with cancer in the region.
“We are calling on people in Chester to go the distance for Cancer Research UK this year because the race to beat cancer is well under way, but there is still much to be done.
“By taking on a Cancer Research UK challenge, people will be helping our researchers in the ultimate challenge of bringing forward the day when all cancers are cured.”