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Women to run Race for Life in memory of former Croydon College student

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LYDIA Page was diagnosed with the rare neuroendocrine cancer on Boxing Day in 2010.

Tragically, just over a year later, cancer took her life – aged just 23.

Now, 15 of her friends and family have joined forces to form Lydia's Ladies, a running team who will take part in Croydon's Race for Life, in aid of Cancer Research UK, at Lloyd Park on July 21.

Emma Myers put the team together after becoming firm friends with Lydia's mum, Sue, when the pair worked together at Croydon Connexions Centre.

Sue and Emma then started to work at Croydon College together, and their children Lydia and Dan started there too, and began to date when they were teenagers.

Emma, 48, explained: "I've known Lydia since she was about 13. She was always such a joy to be around and grew up to be a lovely, thoughtful, caring, independent young woman.

"She was like part of my family; she was even my bridesmaid when I married my husband Roger in 2006.

"Daniel always adored her and none of us could quite come to terms with the fact that someone so full of life could die so young."

Now Emma, Sue and their fellow Lydia's Ladies have issued a rallying cry against cancer as they urge all women to join them at the Croydon event.

Lydia, who lived in Holmesdale Road, South Norwood, and later Cecil Road, Croydon, received a BTEC Diploma in Fashion from Croydon College and went on to study photography at Nottingham Trent University.

But just a three months into her second year at university, she was diagnosed with cancer.

"It was such a shock, because she was really enjoying her studies and student life," said Emma.

"But in typical Lydia style she knuckled down and got on with her treatment. We all thought she would sail through."

Following chemotherapy, Lydia went back to her studies in Nottingham, but her condition worsened and she lost her battle with the disease last January.

"Her death hit everyone very hard," said Emma. "Many of us assumed she would be OK because she was young and had her whole life ahead of her. I certainly underestimated how random and cruel cancer can be."

Despite her illness, Lydia ran the Race for Life in Croydon in 2011, which has now inspired Emma to run in her memory this year.

She explained: "Lydia was an inspiration. She knew how ill she was and yet concentrated all her efforts on getting around the course and raising as much money as she could for research into life-saving treatment so that other young people wouldn't have to go through the same thing as her.

"Race for Life meant a lot to her, we therefore thought it was a fitting tribute to carry on taking part in the event in her name."

Lydia's mum Sue, who now lives in Wandsworth, is also setting up a charity in her daughter's name, to make young people more aware of the symptoms of bowel and neuroendocrine cancers, which mainly affect the lungs and intestines.

To sponsor the girls, visit www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/lydias-ladies8

This year's Croydon Race for Life will take place on Sunday, July 21, at Lloyd Park If you'd like to take part, visit www.raceforlife.cancerresearch uk.org for details

Women to run Race for Life in memory of former Croydon College student


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