A mum-of-two who fought off cancer after losing her mum to the disease, is keen to show others that it can be beaten.
Jo-anne Garvie, 52, of Biggleswade lost her mum to kidney cancer in 2001.
And then in 2006 she discovered a lump in her breast.
After going straight to her GP, Jo-anne, who runs her own IT company, was quickly diagnosed with breast cancer.
Surgery took place immediately to remove the lump and followed by a six-session course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Treatment was successful and Jo-anne has now been cancer free for over seven years.
Hearing that she had cancer came as a huge shock to Jo-anne. She had always been fit and healthy before her diagnosis.
Her mum Marian was 67 when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer and sadly died within three weeks.
Jo-anne says: “Losing my mum so quickly and at a relatively young age was devastating for all of us.
“When I was then diagnosed with breast cancer five years later, I was stunned and very scared. It came as a huge shock and I certainly didn’t feel ill. I had to have six sessions of chemotherapy and lost my hair – which was in many ways the most difficult part and very upsetting.
“However, I came through it and consider myself very lucky. I have beaten cancer and realise that many others don’t. I have some amazingly supportive friends and my family and children gave me a reason to fight hard.”
To celebrate her survival and to remember her mum and other close friends, who were not so lucky, Jo-anne and her daughter will be taking part in their sixth Race for Life 5k this year.
The run takes place on Sunday at The Embankment in Bedford.
Jo-anne’s 11-year old daughter, Anna, will be running the race with her, along with several of her close friends. Husband Graham and son Wills (19) will be cheering them on.
Jo-anne adds: “Taking part in the Race for Life is very important to me and Anna and I have raised more than £6000 over the past five years.
“I would really urge as many women as possible to join me and get involved with this fantastic event. I am proof that research saves lives.”
To enter Race for Life visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.