A grandma and her grandson said a huge “thank you” to a charity which helped her survive cancer.
Janet Blackburn, 66, of Outlane, teamed up with three-year-old Seth to spearhead a Cancer Research UK campaign in Huddersfield town centre.
Former PE teacher and sports enthusiast Janet feared she may never live to see her grandchildren after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994.
She and Seth posed with a ‘thank you’ card bigger than he is at the Cancer Research UK shop in Ramsden Street.
Anyone can sign the card and add their thanks for research that may have helped save thousands of lives.
Janet had been feeling unwell for some time but it was only when her son Aiden walked in on her when she was in the bath, causing her to rapidly cover herself up, that she discovered a lump.
Janet, who is married to Barry, 67, also a retired teacher, said: “It was a huge shock.
“My daughter Alex was 12 and my son Aidan was only 10 at the time and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be around to see them grow up, never mind seeing any grandchildren.”
Fortunately Janet’s cancer was caught early and she underwent surgery to remove the lump and lymph nodes to ensure the cancer did not spread.
This was followed by radiotherapy and a five year course of tamoxifen and she agreed to take part in a trial to research the benefits of chemotherapy.
It all happened while Janet, who previously taught at Huddersfield High School, Fartown High and Howden Clough Girls’ High School in Birstall, was working as the vice principal of a community college in Pontefract.
She said: “I am very much still here! I’ve watched Alex and Aiden become adults and now parents themselves.
“Aiden and his wife Adele gave me my first grandchild, Seth, in November 2011.
“Then Alex and her partner Pete had Arthur in November 2013 and last November Aiden and Del added to their family with little Freddie.
“I love my life, I love my family. I love my sport and still play tennis regularly and I’m in the same hockey team as my daughter Alex.”
The pair have taken part many times in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.
“The experience of being diagnosed and treated for cancer has helped me appreciate how crucial research is,” she added.
“And in turn, I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped fund Cancer Research UK’s doctors, nurses and scientists so they can carry out this vital work.
“That’s why Seth and I are backing Cancer Research UK’s campaign. We want the chance to say ‘thank you’ and encourage everyone in Yorkshire to join the fight against cancer.”