WORTHING is hosting its own Race for Life this summer, and women have been busy preparing for the challenge.
As the lead pharmacist in paediatric oncology at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, she spends her career helping youngsters with the disease to get the drugs they need.
Shani, 31, of Church Walk, Worthing, said: “I see first-hand how devastating any type of cancer diagnosis is. Many lives, including those of some of my friends and family, have been touched by cancer.
“Some people ask me how I do my job because it is so sad to see children who are so poorly all the time, but my view is that they are sick whether I am there or not, but by being there I can help make their journey through treatment a bit easier.”
This is the first year the Race for Life, a 5k event held in towns and cities across the country to raise money for Cancer Research UK, has been held in Worthing. It will take place on Sunday, July 10, starting at Steyne Gardens.
Shani, who will be six months’ pregnant with her second child when she takes part, will be joined on the day by her mum, Ann Lewis, and friend, Nikki Thomas.
In her current role at the hospital, she sees 20 to 30 children a year who have cancer.
She said: “Quite often, I don’t meet them until they have already started treatment and lost their hair. I see them perhaps every month for two or three years and by the end of that time, their hair has grown back, they are stronger and healthier and they look completely different children.
“Of course, it isn’t always like that, though, and some, sadly, don’t make it. That is very sad and difficult to deal with. But that’s why we need to keep investigating and producing more effective treatments.”
She added: “I think people sometimes take part in events like Race for Life and think, I really don’t know where my money is going. Well, I can tell them, it goes straight to helping the children I see every week.
“If people like Cancer Research UK can’t continue its research, there will be no more advances in treatment.
“The majority of children with cancer also go straight into clinical trials and these would be under threat without continued funding.”
To sponsor Shani, Ann and Nikki, visit www.raceforlife sponsorme.org/shani- nikki-ann