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King Alfred schoolgirl runs Hampstead Race for Life to help her mum beat cancer

PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 July 2013

King Alfred School pupils Quincy Broad, Leah Gavshon-Sarah, Frances Henderson, Jessica Leeney, Sophia Musmar, Nell Sternberg, Georgina Williams, Isobel Zamek, all aged 14, and mums Lucy French, 45, and Ruth Leeney, 50, ran Hampstead Race for Life to help beat cancer. Picture: Nigel Sutton

King Alfred School pupils Quincy Broad, Leah Gavshon-Sarah, Frances Henderson, Jessica Leeney, Sophia Musmar, Nell Sternberg, Georgina Williams, Isobel Zamek, all aged 14, and mums Lucy French, 45, and Ruth Leeney, 50, ran Hampstead Race for Life to help beat cancer. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Schoolgirls whose lives have been touched by cancer donned their pink sports gear to raise £1,300 as they joined thousands of runners taking part in Hampstead Race for Life on Saturday.

Race for Life on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Nigel SuttonRace for Life on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Nigel Sutton

King Alfred School pupils Quincy Broad, Leah Gavshon-Sarah, Frances Henderson, Jessica Leeney, Sophia Musmar, Nell Sternberg, Georgina Williams, Isobel Zamek, all aged 14, ran 5km across Hampstead Heath to help beat cancer.

The girls endured gruelling early morning training sessions around Hampstead Heath Extension in preparation for the event.

Isobel, whose mother’s ongoing battle with breast cancer inspired her to take part, also had to balance the demands of early morning runs with preparing to play Alice in a production of Alice in Wonderland at school in North End Road, Golders Green.

The 14-year-old, who lives in Golders Green, said: “It is important to support cancer research because otherwise how can they find a cure?

Race for Life raises money for Cancer Research UK. Picture: Nigel SuttonRace for Life raises money for Cancer Research UK. Picture: Nigel Sutton

“Three of my teachers have passed away from cancer and my mum has been diagnosed several times and we would like it to go away!

“She still has chemo on a daily basis and has to go to hospital every few weeks, but she is strong and wants to see her grandchildren.

“Please keep on supporting to help my mum get better.”

Two of the girls’ mums, Lucy French, 45, and Ruth Leeney, 50, who are also former King Alfred School pupils, also signed up when the schoolgirls realised they were too young to register for Race for Life.

Clinical psychologist Mrs Leeney, Jessica’s mother, said: “I’m very proud of the girls because it was their idea. They sometimes got up very early in the morning when I was still in bed and organised themselves.

“I’m an unfit 50-year-old, so late one night I signed up without really letting myself know what I was in for!

“On the day I took a look at the beautiful view of Hampstead Heath and I thought ‘I’m going to run the whole thing’ - and by some miracle I did!”

Mrs Leeney, whose father died of cancer, downloaded an app called from Couch to 5k to help her train in Golders Hill park, but had still not run the full 5k distance before the race.

With donations still coming to the girls’ Just Giving page, they hope to raise £1,500.

Race for Life has been held on Hampstead Heath for many years and this year 2,500 local women came together to walk, jog or run 5km. Last year £310,470 was raised for Cancer Research UK.

To donate to the girls’ fundraising effort, visit www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/kas-girls

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