Natasha completes her Nottingham 10K to help raise money for MacMillan and raise awareness about skin cancer after her dad's diagnosis encouraged her to take action against the disease.
Natasha Matson stormed over the Asda Foundation Nottingham 10K finish line on Sunday to ensure that her fundraising efforts for MacMillan had not been in vein.
Natasha, joined by supportive friends, cruised home in a time of 1hour 7mins and 21 secs. She had been determined to raise money for MacMillan and raise awareness about skin cancer at the road race after her dad's cancer diagnosis had encouraged her to take action against the disease.
In April last year, Natasha’s dad, Robert, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer that had spread to his lymph nodes.
Following surgery and a curse of radiotherapy, the initial outlook was positive.
But a routine follow-up scan in April this year resulted in devastating news.
Natasha, a 21-year-old post-graduate from Northumbria University, said: “The scan revealed that the cancer was not all clear, and had in fact spread to the brain and adrenal gland, with three initial brain tumours being found.
“Since then, further deposits have been found including in his spleen and his bones including arm and scapula. We were told that Dad now faced a terminal prognosis, and is in palliative care to manage symptoms of the disease progression and treatment.”
Natasha earlier this year completed the Asda Foundation Lincoln 10K and hopes that, following her second Run For All 10K of the year, she can continue to raise awareness about the seriousness of skin cancer.
Natasha, of North Hykeham, Lincolnshire, said: "I would really like to spread awareness of melanoma and the severity of this disease, especially among young people. I often hear of people saying ‘oh it’s only skin cancer.’
“I feel like there is a huge lack of understanding and ignorance towards skin cancer where people don't view it as seriously as it is.”
She urged people to read about the severity of the disease before “laying in the sun for hours with no protection and excessively using sunbeds.”
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If you would like to donate money towards Natasha's 10K challenge, please click Natasha's fundraising page