Yorkshire Cancer Research has launched their ‘Step Out for Yorkshire’ campaign which challenges people to walk, cycle or run 100 miles in May to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.
Volunteers, researchers and advocates for the charity gathered at Golden Acre Park in Leeds to walk the first mile of the challenge together.
The charity’s annual Step Out for Yorkshire campaign aims to raise awareness of the link between exercise and cancer by inviting people to get active and enjoy the outdoors while raising vital funds to help save lives in the region.
Yorkshire Cancer Research funds researchers and cancer experts who pioneer early diagnosis and discover new and better treatments to help more people survive cancer.
Every year, 30,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire. By encouraging more people to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight, 2200 of these cases could be prevented.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “Exercise plays an important role in both lowering the risk of developing cancer and in cancer treatment and recovery. That’s why we’re inviting people across the region to get outside and get moving as part of our Step Out for Yorkshire campaign. As well as raising crucial funds, we hope it will give everyone the opportunity to boost their own health and wellbeing while enjoying all that beautiful Yorkshire has to offer.”
Yorkshire Cancer Research is pioneering the introduction of exercise as a treatment for cancer in Yorkshire by funding ‘Active Together’ programmes across the region. The programmes provide individualised exercise, nutritional and psychological support to help patients prepare for, respond to, and recover from cancer treatment.
Evidence shows that exercise after a cancer diagnosis can halve a person’s risk of dying from cancer compared to those who are less active. It can also significantly reduce the risk of cancer coming back, in some cases by up to 66%.
The charity’s Active Together programme is helping to drive forward worldwide understanding of cancer and exercise while directly helping people like Sara Williamson, from Wakefield, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. As part of her treatment, Sara participated in an exercise programme funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research which enabled her to build up her strength for chemotherapy.
Sara said: “I really believe I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for the exercise programme and how it improved both my physical and my mental health. I now lead a support group for people affected by cancer to help them improve their wellbeing before, during and post-treatment. We do Pilates, walks, boxercise and dance classes.
“It’s amazing to see how the diagnosis and treatment of cancer has improved since I was diagnosed. Every day is truly a gift to me and I do everything I can to help others facing the same situation as me. I have been building up my strength so I can achieve the 100-mile goal this May and will be walking, dancing and boxercising my way to the target.”
To sign up, donate and track your progress on a live leaderboard, head to Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Step Out for Yorkshire campaign page at: www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/event/your100