Karen takes training in her stride as she tackles 'silent killer' in memory of Sandra Wilton

Published on: 07 May 2016

Losing her aunt to cancer has inspired a Bristol woman to raise funds in her memory while kicking her unhealthy habits into touch.

Karen Niang, 38, has pledged to complete the Bristol Race for Life on July 3 in aid of Cancer Research UK – although raising money is just one of her goals.

The mum-of-two from Knowle has decided to lose weight and get fit as part of the challenge while also raising vital awareness about pancreatic cancer, the illness that claimed her aunt Sandra Wilton’s life in 2015.

Karen said: “Last year my beautiful and talented Aunt Sandra lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. She passed very quickly after being diagnosed but, on reflection and armed with knowledge, she showed signs for quite a while, we just didn’t know what those signs were. Pancreatic cancer is a silent killer so I’m hoping I can raise awareness in taking part in this event while raising a little money to help research.”

Sandra lived in Keynsham and her sons Richard and Alex were joined by 17 members of Keynsham Cricket Club as they ran the Bath Half Marathon in March in her memory, raising £5,400 for Pancreatic Cancer Action. 

Karen, who is a part-time support worker for adults with learning disabilities, a stay-at-home mum and is studying to be a teaching assistant, has thrown herself into training so she can take the 5km course in her stride, using a pedometer to keep upping the challenge.

She is also writing a blog, Steps for Sandra, about her progress, in which she is also sharing facts about pancreatic cancer, the risk factors, signs and symptoms – https://stepsforsandra.wordpress.com/

She is also keeping focused on her weight loss goals at the Thursday morning Slimming World group in Keynsham run by Ann Rose.

Family and friends are sponsoring Karen through her fundraising page https://www.justgiving.com/karenniang while her husband and children Mayan, four, and three-year-old Omar will be cheering her on to the finish line in July.

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