Cancer survivor steps up to Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon

Sarah Rowson. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Sarah Rowson. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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A MOTHER-of-two who was inspired to start running after surviving a rare form of cancer is set to take part in this Sunday’s Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon.

Sarah Rowson, from Chapel Allerton, said she is determined to grasp her second chance at life after fearing she may not live to see her children Edward, seven, and James, five, grow up.

Mrs Rowson, 40, went to see her GP in September 2012 complaining of indigestion and was sent to Leeds General Infirmary for an ultrasound scan for suspected gallstones.

Scan results revealed she had a tumour in her pancreas.

Mrs Rowson underwent major surgery the following month at St James’s Hospital to remove the growth.

Doctors discovered it was a neuroendocrine tumour, a rare cancer of the nervous and hormonal system.

After six months recuperating, Mrs Rowson, who works as an NHS administrator in Leeds, started running as she battled back to health.

She joined the Hyde Park Harriers running club and has completed a number of 5k races and last year’s Leeds Abbey Dash 10k.

Mrs Rowson said: “I had moments when I wasn’t sure how much longer I would have with my children.

“There were a few weeks of uncertainty, not knowing whether or not it had spread or whether it was treatable.

“When I got the all clear it felt like I had been given a second chance and life begins today. I just wanted to make the most of every single day.”

Mrs Rowson added: “I started running because I thought as there was a chance of the cancer coming back I wanted to be as fit as I could possible be so I could fight it.

“My husband David has been so supportive and has really encouraged me if I have had a bad run or if I’ve been down about running.”

Thousands of runners are set to line up on The Headrow alongside Victoria Gardens for this Sunday’s 30th YEP backed Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon, which is due to start at 9.30am. Last year’s run attracted a record field of 7,000 and raised £150,000 for its partner charities alone.

To sign up and to find out more, go to www.theyorkshiremarathon.com.