Deaf North Shields shop worker to join Race for Life in memory of grans

A DEAF North Shields shop worker is gearing up to join the thousands taking part in next week’s Race For Life with her sister and best friend in memory of their grans, who both died from cancer.

Chelsea Coltman, 20, who works in Silverlink’s Poundworld, will be joined at the Newcastle event on Friday, July 20, by her 15-year-old sister Chloe plus their friend Jessica, 20.

The trio are being backed by Chelsea’s fellow workers at Poundworld, plus family and friends. They’re getting fit for the 5k event by walking their pet dogs, plus getting together for regular jogging sessions.

Chelsea, from Battle Hill, Wallsend, said: “We decided to join the Race For Life this year because we think it is a really good way to bring people together to raise awareness along with having fun at the same time.

“We’ve also had a few people in our family affected by different forms of cancer, while my gran, Elizabeth Watson, died from lung cancer.

“My grandfather, David Harris, died from stomach cancer when my mother was six year old, so I never met him. My auntie has survived bowel cancer as well – her name is Sharon Fawcett.

“I haven’t taken part in the Race For Life before, although I have previously considered it – I will be doing it each year from now on. It is a fun event that anyone can easily join while making a real difference to people’s lives,” added Chelsea, who has raised £70 so far.

Jessica’s gran Elizabeth Young also died from cancer.  Known to her family and friend as Liz, she was just 63 when she died last November from liver cancer, after earlier beating breast cancer.

Mrs Young had previously worked as head cleaner at Redesdale Primary School, Wallsend, which was attended by all three girls before moving to Burnside Business and Enterprise College

Mrs Young’s daughter Sharon – Jessica’s mum – has also been treated for pre-cancerous cells linked to breast cancer.

“Cancer is something that affects everybody, and that’s why I wanted to do the Race For Life,” said Jessica, who works at Newcastle’s Mushroom bar. She has raised £150 so far, and joins Chelsea and Chloe, and their Staffordshire bull terriers Keira and Diesel plus pug Evie, for walks with her dogs Lizzie, a Westie, and Charlie, a Jackahuahua.

Chelsea added: “We usually walk our dogs in the morning and so have started taking them for short jogs instead. We expect to take around an hour to complete the Race – we’re in no hurry to finish it fast.”

Amy Hodges, Marketing Manager for the Silverlink Shopping Park, said: “Chelsea and her family and friends have very touching reasons for taking part in the Race For Life.

“She has her own disability to combat as well but she is making light of it and is really throwing herself into this charity effort which clearly means a lot to her.”

Chelsea, who has been a sales assistant at Poundworld for just over a year, will be relying on her sister and friend to alert her to when the race starts.

“I have been deaf from the age of three, I am not profoundly deaf, but hearing impaired and wear hearing aids in each ear. The cause has not yet been found although my mother is keen that it started from a viral infection that has affected a nerve in my ear. Tests are being carried out still to verify what it actually was,” Chelsea explained.

Race For Life started in 1994 and now hundreds of events are held around the UK. It’s raised almost £500m, to fund Cancer Research UK, and the charity helps 4,000 researchers, doctors and nurses investigate the disease, plus support those who are affected by it.

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