A MUM of two who had to undergo a major operation after being diagnosed with cancer will take part in an iconic women’s race to celebrate fighting the disease.

Karen Halliwell, 53, of Wigginton was diagnosed with adrenal cancer in June last year after suddenly becoming unwell and losing three stone in a short time because of a loss of appetite.

After undergoing tests for bowel cancer at York Hospital, further tests were carried out before Karen was diagnosed.

Karen said that she was devastated when doctors gave her the diagnosis.

“I remember hearing the word cancer and after that I couldn’t take anything else in,” she said.

“I got out of the hospital and literally fell to my knees. I was devastated.”

Weeks later Karen was submitted to St James Hospital in Leeds to undergo major surgery to remove her spleen and almost all of her pancreas.

Now in recovery and with no further treatment needed, Karen is encouraging other women to support the fight against cancer by taking part in this year’s 5 or 10K Race for Life at York Racecourse on Sunday, June 22.

Karen said: “It was a really difficult time and I think I have been through every emotion possible. But I feel so positive now and I just feel so lucky that I have come out of this the other side.”

Karen, who works as a production manager for their family-run engineering company Yorkshire Profiles Ltd, will be taking on the 10K race.

More than 2,500 people are currently signed up to the race, which sees many people don fancy dress and bright pink tutus for the occasion.

Philippa Sharpe, Cancer Research UK’s York Events Manager said: “Race for Life events are an amazing way to celebrate life but also remember those who have been lost to the disease.”

To enter the Race for Life visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 6006050