Baldock mum speaks about life with cancer – and why you should sign up for Stevenage Race for Life 2018

Julia Lawley and her family after completing Stevenage Race for Life in 2014 - weeks after finishing

Julia Lawley and her family after completing Stevenage Race for Life in 2014 - weeks after finishing radiotherapy. Picture: Cancer Research UK - Credit: Archant

A mum-of-two who is battling with cancer that has spread to her bones and cannot be cured is calling on local ladies to rally together and sign up for this year’s Stevenage Race for Life.

Julia Lawley of Baldock lives each day with breast cancer that has wreaked havoc on her life and that of husband Ross and their children, Imy and Felix.

Despite successful treatment and undergoing major surgery, their lives were shattered 2½ years after her initial diagnosis doctors found she had secondary breast cancer in her back and told Julia her disease was Stage 4 and incurable.

But despite the uncertainty and living their lives in three month cycles organised around scans and hospital appointments, software developer Julia achieved her goal last year – to be at the start line for Stevenage Race for Life 2017 and to make it round to the finish line with her children.

It was in October 2013 when Julia was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer after noticing a strange discharge from her nipple and then discovering a lump. Her GP referred her to the hospital for further tests.

She said: “I remember the nurse came to take me through and she told me we were seeing the consultant – that’s when I knew I was about to get bad news.

“Before I knew it I was sat there, crying and shaking as I was told I had cancer.

Most Read

“I was 36 years old. My children were seven and five. All I could think was how could this be happening?”

Julia has had countless chemotherapy sessions and surgery following her initial diagnosis, and since Race for Life last year she has had to have another course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and is having ongoing biological therapy.

Julia added: “I am never going to be free of cancer, I can only be managed – but that is one of the biggest reasons we do Race for Life.

“When you have Stage 4 cancer you know how vital research is. We need to ensure that breast cancer – or any type of cancer – does not continue to kill people in the future. I don’t want anybody to be in the position that I am in because it is awful.

“We need to raise money to fund research to stop other families ending up in the situation that we are in.

Race for Life Stevenage takes place on July 8 this year with options to join a 5k or 10k event.

Sign up for Race for Life now at or call 0300 123 0770.