Lewis Alexander Baxter (23) is honouring former Ribble Valley councillor, Ruth Baxter's memory by raising awareness and money for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. He will be accompanied by his aunt and Ruth's sister, 49-year-old Judith Robinson in the fundraising challenge, which has already raised over £2,000.
Ruth, a passionate runner and community champion, who had spent over 10 years as a lecturer at the University Centre of Blackburn College, died in July 2020.
She had been diagnosed and recovered from this aggressive form of breast cancer previously, only for it to return in 2019, which rapidly spread to her bones, lungs and liver. Despite surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and pioneering immunotherapy, Ruth’s condition progressively worsened, and she lost her battle against TNBC, aged 52.
For their Triple Challenge, Lewis and Judith will be running three miles, three times per week for three months! Launched on December 3rd, 2021, their running challenge will end on March 3rd, 2022, which is TNBC Awareness Day.
Alongside this, Judith will be having her hair chopped; over 45cm of her hair will be donated to The Little Princess Trust Charity, where real wigs are made for children and young people who have lost their hair through cancer treatment or other conditions.
For some of their runs, the duo will be running around memorable routes for Ruth and visiting hospitals where Ruth had treatments, including the Royal Blackburn Hospital,
Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Burnley General Teaching Hospital, and Rosemere Cancer Foundation Charity at Royal Preston Hospital.
Lewis said: “Mum loved running, so this seemed the perfect way to remember her and put TNBC and this fantastic new charity on the map.
"Whilst the most common breast cancers have one of three types of receptors, oestrogen, progesterone and human epidermal growth, approximately 15% of all diagnoses have none of
these receptors and are said to be 'triple negative'."
With over 8,000 people diagnosed with TNBC every year, the vast majority of these being women, Lewis and Judith’s mission is to raise awareness of this less form of breast cancer,
and raise funds and awareness for The UK Charity for TNBC. The new charity provides information for people living with TNBC and funds scientific research to further develop more targeted and effective treatments.
Judith went onto say: "Before Ruth was diagnosed with TNBC, we had never heard of it. We’re thrilled to be supporting the vital work and raising awareness, whilst starting the conversation about TNBC within Lancashire and beyond.”
A TNBC spokesman said: “With over 40,000 people with TNBC in the UK, it impacts family and friends on a much wider scale. There are several fantastic cancer and breast cancer charities out there, but we are the only one in the UK to specifically focus on TNBC.”
To follow Lewis and Judith’s journey and to support their fundraising, please CLICK HERE