A Harrogate teenager living with cancer has been crowned ‘the guest of honour’ at this weekend’s 5k Race for Life event as it makes its return to The Stray.
Annie Coyne, an 18-year-old student at St Aidan’s Sixth Form, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in September 2016.
But last year, just two days after leaving hospital, she took part in the Race for Life with her family, despite suffering from severe pain in both her legs and back which restricts her mobility.
At the time of her diagnosis, Annie had just joined St Aidan’s Sixth Form to study her A-levels, but had to take 16 months off to undergo treatment at Leeds General Infirmary.
Annie said: “Cancer is really scary for anyone especially for my age group so when people found out I had cancer it made it even harder to make friends.
“That’s why the family I have formed on the cancer ward in Leeds has been even more important.
“They know exactly what I’m going through and can support me. I’m determined to keep up with school work and do well in my A-Levels so I can be a nurse, but it is hard.”
Today, Annie is still going through treatment but is encouraging women of all ages and abilities to join her in Race for Life and the fight against cancer.
Determined Annie has raised nearly £10,000 for cancer charities and aspires to become a paediatric nurse so that she can help other children living with illnesses like her own.
Emma Colbourne, Cancer Research UK’s Harrogate Events Manager, said: “Cancer research is being funded thanks to girls, just like Annie, walking, running or jogging their way around Race for Life.
“Money raised at Race for Life helps scientists and doctors find new ways to prevent and treat the disease.”
Race for Life returns to the Stray with a number of events this weekend.