Four sisters who have all beaten breast cancer have warned other women they are never too young to develop the disease.
Carole Bennett, 47, Jane McCaffrey, 44, Susan Pyle, 43, and Ellen Ferrie, 38, were all diagnosed before reaching the age of 40.
On Monday, they joined together at Dundee’s Camperdown Park to encourage women to take part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for life event at the park on June 17. They will all be guests of honour at the event.
Mrs Bennett has beaten breast cancer twice. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995 at age of 30. Her mum Victoria was undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer at the time.
Hairdressing salon owner Mrs Bennett had surgery, followed by six months of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiotherapy.
Her sister Mrs McCaffrey was then diagnosed with breast cancer and Mrs Bennett's cancer ruturned while she was going through treatment.
School teacher Mrs McCaffrey had no symptoms. After screening at the age of 28, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Their mother lost her six-year battle with the disease in 2000. By this time the family had been devastated by cancer but Mrs Bennett said the sisters were a huge support to each other.
She said: “I was scared when I found out I had cancer. I thought I was too young to get it. Then when Jane got it as well the family was turned upside down. It was hard for my Dad because my Mum was going through cancer and then two of his daughters were diagnosed as well. But we are a very close family and we have all helped each other get through it.”
Ten years later, their sister Miss Ferrie was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33. She also had chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. And a year later, in 2008, their sister Mrs Pyle, a mother-of-three, was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 40.
Mrs Bennett added: “We are all so happy to still be here. And every year that goes by we all get a bit more positive. We wanted to share our story to help others see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And we are delighted to support Cancer Research UK by doing Race for Life together. We hope to get sponsors and raise as much money as we can to help fund research."
Last year more than 2600 women and girls in Dundee helped to raise more than £151,000 for vital research by taking part in 5K and 10K events.
Carolyn Johnston, Cancer Research UK’s Dundee events manager, praised the sisters for their fundraising efforts and urged more women to sign up to Race for Life.
She said: “Carole, Jane, Ellen and Susan are the most amazing ambassadors for the charity and we are totally bowled over by their support. With their help we hope that as many women as possible sign up to Race events both here in Dundee and across Scotland. It’s all of us versus cancer and we need you to join the fight with us.
“We know women want to take part in Race for Life and may be worried they won’t be able to complete the course. But Race for Life is not about being fast or fit — it’s a celebration of sisterhood and hope."
To enter Race for Life call 0871 641 1111 or visit Race for Life