TABBY Duff was aged just 26 when she faced a breast cancer diagnosis. She was given the devastating news alone as Tabby was diagnosed in the middle of the pandemic.

Now, having just celebrated her 30th birthday and having made a full recovery, Tabby is keen to urge as many people as possible to sign up for Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with headline sponsor Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, is an inspiring series of 3k, 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.  

Tabby, who works in Content Marketing in Manchester, found a small lump on her right breast in October 2020. Being so young and with no family history of cancer, Tabby never dreamt the lump could be anything serious and assumed it was a hormonal cyst.

Tabby’s GP referred her for a biopsy and mammogram. And just weeks later she was shocked to be told she had stage two breast cancer. Due to covid restrictions, Tabby was given the news on her own. But became so upset and unable to absorb what was being said to her, that her mum was allowed into the consultation room.

Following the initial shock, Tabby decided she would only cope with the diagnosis and treatment by remaining positive. She started a blog about her journey and thanks to social media became friends with other women her own age facing a breast cancer diagnosis.

Tabby, who lives in Trafford with her boyfriend, had seven rounds of chemotherapy over four months which made her hair fall out. She underwent surgery to have her right breast removed and implant reconstruction. As she had been living at her parents in Cheshire during lockdown, Tabby had her treatment at The Clatterbridge Centre in the Wirral.

She is now fit, well and looking forward to celebrating being three years cancer free in June. Tabby continues to receive hormone therapy and an annual mammogram.

While Tabby was recovering, she raised money for Cancer Research UK by taking part in Race for Life at Delamere Forest in Cheshire.

Following her own experience, Tabby knows exactly how vital it is to raise funds for life-saving research. Money raised will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancers - moving closer to a world where everyone can live longer, better lives.  

Tabby said: “The day I was given the diagnosis, I felt completely numb and almost like I was outside of my body, watching my world crumbling apart from a distance.

“The first thing I asked the doctor was “am I going to die?” as I just couldn’t comprehend being so young and facing a cancer diagnosis.

“My family and my boyfriend were amazing. I couldn’t have got through the treatment without them. They were so supportive, but the news was a huge shock for them. And they maybe struggled more than I did as once I’d got my head around the diagnosis, I went into survival mode. But for my family the journey was hard to deal with as they felt quite powerless as there wasn’t anything they could do.

“Taking part in Race for Life was such an empowering experience. It was amazing to read everyone’s back signs and there was a real sense of camaraderie.”

People of all ages and abilities are welcome to take part in Race for Life across the North West. Mums, dads, sons, daughters, grandparents and friends can choose from 3k, 5k or 10K events. There are also Pretty Muddy events – the 5k mud-splattered obstacle course with a Pretty Muddy Kids option.

Every year around 44,700 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West*.  

Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson in the North West, said: “We are so grateful to Tabby for her support and know her story will make an impact on everyone who hears it.  

“No matter how cancer affects us, life is worth racing for. Sadly nearly 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime.** Race for Life has the power not only to transform lives, but to save them. We’re proud that Race for Life has already helped double survival rates in the UK.   
“We’d love for as many people as possible across the North West and beyond to join us at Race for Life. There is an event for everyone and we mean everyone. Walk, jog, run or take on the course however it suits best. It’s a chance to feel the power of moving together with fellow Race for Lifers and to treasure that moment of crossing the finish line.  

“Whether people are living with cancer, are taking part in honour of or in memory of a loved one with the disease, or are in it for the medals or just for the fun of fundraising, there is a place for everyone.”  

Race for Life events will be held at Heaton Park, Wigan, Tatton Park and Stockport.

To celebrate spring, supporters can claim their discount as part of a special sale between Monday March 18 and Monday April 29 by using the code 24SPRING. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here