A MOTHER who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer five years ago is taking part in a Cancer Research UK event with a defiant message written on her running shoes.

Rachael Hodgetts, 33, of Kidderminster, will be taking on the Race for Life 10k at Worcester Racecourse on Sunday, July 6, with the charity’s slogan Beat It Cancer written on her soles.

Mrs Hodgetts, mother of seven-year-old Ethan, said: “I’m alive today because of research.

“That’s why I’m extremely proud to be joining the huge, formidable army of women who will be standing side by side on the starting line at Worcester Racecourse with one mission in mind - to hit cancer where it hurts.”

Mrs Hodgetts, an administrative assistant at Kidderminster Hospital, is encouraging other women to join her and her mother, Christine Bratt, 67, in taking part.

“Now I want to invite women across the region to send their own message to cancer, by signing up to a Race for Life near them,” she said.

After suffering from stomach pains for the first eight months of 2009, Mrs Hodgetts was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She then underwent surgery to have her womb and ovaries removed.

Now celebrating her fifth year in remission, Mrs Hodgetts said she would have liked to have had more children.

“My mum lost both her parents to cancer and both her siblings are now living with cancer, so I’m very grateful for what I’ve got,” she said.

“You do live in constant fear it’s going to return but my message to cancer means that every step I take will help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

Paula Young, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK in the West Midlands, said: “We’d like to thank Rachael for drawing attention to Race for Life in such a novel way because, without these events, much of our research would not be possible.

“Race for Life is not competitive and it’s not about being fit or fast. It’s about thousands of women coming together to show cancer who’s boss.

“We’re calling on feisty females of all ages, shapes and sizes to pull on their favourite footwear and join us at their local Race for Life.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life runs a series of women-only 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events to raise money to fund lifesaving research.

To find your nearest Race for Life event visit raceforlife.org or call 0845 6006050.