Scientist from St Helens pledges support to Race For Life

Claire Armstrong wearing her Cancer Research UK lab coat at the University of Liverpool

A Scientist from St Helens is pledging to take part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in memory of her father who sadly died from cancer and is inviting everyone to join them.

Cancer researcher Claire Armstrong, 24, who works at the University of Liverpool, will join men, women and children at Haydock Race for Life 5k and 10k on Sunday 14 July and is encouraging others to follow their lead and join at

This year, for the first time, Cancer Research UK is inviting everyone – women, men and children – to join the Race for Life.

Claire, from Eccleston, St Helens, will take part in the 5k in memory of her father Malcom who sadly died in 2016 after developing a type of lung cancer.

She said: “I’m so proud to join this year’s Race for Life. My experience means I understand all too clearly why Cancer Research UK’s work is so important.

“I’m so excited to take part in Race for Life and join such a formidable force of supporters who are so motivated to make a difference. I’d encourage everyone in St Helens to join me!”

Claire works as a Cancer Research UK-funded scientist carrying out research into bowel cancer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. She is part of a team developing a way to create drug-carrying particles in order to improve the way chemotherapy drugs are carried around the body. In doing so, the team hope to avoid getting healthy tissue caught in the cross-fire of the treatment, reducing the side effects.

Claire attended Rainford High Technology and Bleakhill Primary schools before taking A-levels in maths, chemistry, biology and physics at Winstanley College before going to study chemistry at the University of Liverpool.

Claire Armstrong in her Race for Life T-shirt

Claire said: “In my second year at University my Dad was diagnosed with a type of lung cancer. By my fourth year he had passed away and he never got to see me graduate.

“It was just after he died the opportunity came up to apply for a PhD funded by Cancer Research UK and after seeing how cancer had affected my dad it just felt like the right thing to do.

“I think he’d be incredibly proud to know he’s helped to motivate me to pursue a career to help others. I want to give something back for the treatment he received.

“When I meet people who have lost a loved-one to cancer or been affected by cancer I know what it is like and it’s my goal to help to find more treatments and kinder treatments so that less families have to go through what my family did.

“I’m sure Haydock Race for Life will be emotional thinking about my Dad and seeing all the other participants who have been affected by cancer and reading their back signs to see who they are running for, but it will also be a good way to remember our loved ones and help make a difference.

“Fundraising campaigns like Race for Life are so important to help fund vital research.”

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

Sarah Hunter, Cancer Research UK’s Haydock Race for Life Event Manager, said: “We are very grateful to Claire for her support.

“By following Claire’s lead, and joining the Race for Life in Haydock, people can make a real difference in the fight against cancer.

“Our Race for Life events are fun, colourful, emotional and uplifting. You don’t need to be sporty to take part. You don’t have to train, and you certainly don’t need to compete against anyone else.”

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer, at some point during their lifetime, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Sarah continued: “Every day, 110 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West*. To make a significant difference in the fight against cancer we need to harness as much energy and commitment as possible, and that’s why we need everyone in St Helens to join.

“We’re urging mums, dads, nans, grandpas, brothers, sisters, friends and workmates to show their support by joining the Race for Life. It’s a perfect example of everyday people doing an extraordinary thing – uniting in a common cause to beat cancer.”

“We encourage our participants to help raise money in what every way they like – there are lots of ideas on the Race for Life website – because this allows Cancer Research UK to fund vital research that saves lives.

This includes clinical trials which give patients in St Helens and Merseyside access to the latest treatments.”

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend over £1 million last year in Liverpool on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.

To enter Race for Life today visit or call 0300 123 0770.

Race for Life events in Merseyside

  • Haydock Race for Life 5k and 10k – Sunday 14 July
  • Aintree Race for Life 5k and 10k – Sunday 16 June
  • Sefton Park Race for Life Pretty Muddy – Saturday 6th July
  • Sefton Park Race for Life 5k and 10k – Sunday 7th July
  • Haydock Race for Life 5k and 10k – Sunday 14 July
  • Aintree Race for Life 5k and 10k – Sunday 16 June
  • Sefton Park Race for Life Pretty Muddy – Saturday 6th July
  • Sefton Park Race for Life 5k and 10k – Sunday 7th July
  • Wirral Race for Life Pretty Muddy – Saturday 29th June
  • Wirral Race for Life 5k and 10k – Sunday 30th June


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