Race for Life runners

PUBLISHED: 19:20 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:44 17 June 2010

A PAIR of friends are to run the Race for Life to help raise money for two men suffering from cancer. It will be the fourth time Lesley Roberts, of Sid Road, Sidmouth, and Petra Ambert, from Exeter, take part in the Cancer Research UK race at Westpoint in

A PAIR of friends are to run the Race for Life to help raise money for two men suffering from cancer.It will be the fourth time Lesley Roberts, of Sid Road, Sidmouth, and Petra Ambert, from Exeter, take part in the Cancer Research UK race at Westpoint in July.Mrs Roberts, who has twin sons Freddie and Charlie, who are nearly four, met Petra when they worked together in radiology at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Wonford.They decided to do the five kilometre race in memory of Lesley's father, Fred Leadbetter and Petra's mother, who had both died of cancer.This year they will have another reason to compete. Two of Lesley's friends, former school mate Brian McConnell, 39, and Dave 'Mad Dog' Maddock, 40, who worked at the Mermaid bar on Sidmouth seafront, are recovering from cancer.She said: "At that age you think you are indestructible. What a thing to find out that two of your closest friends have gone through this. It opens your eyes and they want others to be aware. I am very proud of both of them. You never know what is going to happen to you."Mr McConnell was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of facial cancer, while Mr Maddock suffered throat and vocal chord cancer. Both received radiotherapy after surgery."We have raised more than £1,000 and are hoping to raise £500 each for this race and a 12 kilometre run in September for Cancer Research at Powderham," said Lesley, who will also undertake a half marathon with Petra in five weeks' time."We are doing it to raise awareness. It is life-changing for two of our closest friends to get cancer so young. You see them go through it, putting on brave faces and the other side of it."Anyone wanting to donate to the couple can do so online via the Cancer Research UK website, typing in their names.The men are planning a fundraiser of their own at the Balfour Arms, on Saturday, June 28, in aid of FORCE cancer charity and Sidmouth Hospiscare.

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