A VOLUNTEER from North Yorkshire is to feature on a Mother’s Day card sold in Tesco stores across the country to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Duncan McGregor, 48, who lives in Ampleforth, is sharing his story and photograph of him volunteering at a Race for Life event, which will be included on a card designed by Hallmark on sale in all large Tesco stores.

It is hoped the card that shares Duncan’s memories about his mum Sue, who died of cancer in 2015, will connect with and support people affected by the disease, as well as raising funds.

Tesco is celebrating its 20th year of partnership with Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life - a 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.

Money raised through Race for Life events funds world-class research to help beat 200 types of cancer – including bowel cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer, brain cancer, children’s cancers and leukaemia.

Duncan, who is an Associate Partner at IBM and has volunteered at Race for Life for over 10 years, knows exactly how vital it is to keep raising funds for life saving research having seen his mum Sue McGregor diagnosed first with lung cancer and then secondary cancer in her brain.

He said: “Mum was first diagnosed with lung cancer, recovered well following a major operation and extensive treatments and had a really positive outlook. She was doing so well and we all had reason to be hopeful for the future.”

Sadly though about 15 months later Sue, 71 at the time, who was an art teacher in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, before she retired, began to experience numbness in her arm.

Initially doctors thought it could have been the result of a mild stroke, but scans revealed evidence of cancer in the pontine, which is the area at the base of the brain and just above the spinal cord.

Because of its location surgery wasn’t an option, but Sue, wife to Mac and mum to Duncan and Katie, began targeted radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Duncan said: “Mum was an incredibly strong woman and throughout both diagnoses of cancer she was ready to face it head on, but I think when we knew the location of the cancer and the fact it wasn’t going to be operable, I came to terms with the fact there wasn’t going to be a good outcome and set out to make the most of the time we had together.”

Sadly the treatment available wasn’t successful at removing the cancer and Sue died in August 2015.

This wasn’t the first significant loss that Duncan had faced, having seen his first wife tragically die from Multiple sclerosis.

He said: “I was very close to mum and would talk often on the phone and visit her and my dad at their home in Flitwick. But I think after the death of my first wife my outlook on life changed and since then I always look forward and really embrace the moments and opportunities in front of me, so I was able to cherish the time with my mum.”

Duncan, who loves the outdoors is often out walking or biking in the countryside, got remarried in 2011 to Rachel and began volunteering for Cancer Research UK around the same time, at the charity’s Race for Life events in York and across Yorkshire.

He said: “Volunteering is such a humbling experience. I’ve learnt more about the impact cancer has on someone and a family through this work, and then unfortunately since supporting Cancer Research UK I have gone on to see it first-hand. But that makes it even more important that I’m able to do my bit to help.

“My favourite role at Race for Life is what we call the back marker. In this position you are the very last person on the course following the people at the back round to the finish line to provide help and ensure nobody is left behind. I have met some incredibly special people doing this, from older ladies walking with frames around the course, to women in treatment for cancer who wanted to get out and be part of the day.

“You get to talk to people about their lives and you learn so much about what they are going through and it really puts things into perspective. Helping them make a memory and making them smile as they take part is the reason I do it. It really makes you feel like you’ve made a difference to someone and that’s an incredible feeling.”

Duncan’s experience of volunteering and losing his mum to cancer will feature on a special the Mother’s Day card in her memory.

Tesco, Hallmark and Cancer Research UK will be presenting Duncan with a special framed version of his card to mark the occasion and thank him for sharing her story.

Duncan added: “I’m so proud to be a volunteer for Cancer Research UK and support Race for Life. To be part of this collection of Mother’s Day cards is a great way to speak about my wonderful mum and celebrate her this Mother’s Day.”

Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Charity Campaigns at Tesco said: “We hope these cards will inspire others facing cancer and the money they raise will make a difference to so many lives.

“For the last 20 years, our partnership with Cancer Research UK has helped to raise millions of pounds for life-saving research.”The Mother’s Day cards which are priced from £1 are on sale in large Tesco stores until March 14.