Di inspired by her family

Diane Orrell is taking part in the Race for Life
Diane Orrell is taking part in the Race for Life

A WIGAN theatre technician who lost her mum and sister to cancer is taking part in Race for Life in their names.

Diane Orrell, 49, who works at Chorley Hospital, lost her sister Angela Penkethman to a brain tumour in 1979 – and in September 2012 her mum Margaret Cook died of pancreatic cancer.

She said: “I was only 14 when my sister died of cancer – as a family we were completely devastated.

“Then when mum was diagnosed a few years ago, it came as a terrible shock.”

Diane’s sister, Angela, was just a teenager when she was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour she lost her battle to the disease, aged just 17.

At the beginning of 2008 Dianne’s mum Margaret then became unwell.

She had severe pains in her stomach and made a visit to see her GP.

Margaret was referred for tests where she received the devastating news that she had pancreatic cancer.

She underwent chemotherapy treatment at the Christies Hospital in Manchester but lost her battle to the disease in 2012, aged 72.

Mum-of-two Diane, from Leigh, said: “Mum was amazing she fought so hard to beat the cancer – and although she didn’t make it, she was truly inspirational.”

“Taking part in Race for Life is my way of fighting back against cancer for taking my mum and my sister – I miss them every day and always will.

“It’s going to be an incredibly emotional event, but I know they would be proud of me and that by taking part I’ll be helping other families have more precious time with their loved ones.

“That’s why I want local women to join me, because united we are stronger than this terrible disease.”

The Race for Life in Leigh takes place on Sunday June 8 at Pennington Flash. Entries close on June 5.

The Wigan event takes place as usual at Haigh Hall on Sunday June 29. Entries close for this race on June 26, and the Haydock run takes place on July 13, with entries closing on July 10.

l Are you taking part in either of the two local Race for Life events? Contact Natalie Walker on (01942) 506280 or send an email to natalie.walker1@jpress.co.uk or contact her via Twitter @NWalkerWIG. Don’t miss our right-page picture special of the Leigh Race for Life in the Wigan Evening Post on Monday June 9.