EVERY year millions of people take part in the Race for Life, raising millions of pounds for Cancer Research.

But this year’s event will have a particularly profound meaning for two Irvine sisters.

Clare Chaney and Rozlyn Brennan will be taking part this Sunday (May 17) to mark 10 years since they lost their mum to the devastating disease.

The girls - now both mums themselves - have put together a 12-strong team of friends and family to run in memory of their amazing mum, Pat Brennan.

Pat fought breast cancer for 15 years, undergoing her first mastectomy when Rozlyn, now 32, was just eight-years-old and Clare, now 38, was 13.

Following the surgery Pat got the all clear and the girls, along with dad Jimmy, thought the worst was over.

But 10 years later the family were dealt a devastating blow when Pat discovered the cancer had returned and she would have to undergo a second mastectomy.

Despite another operation and endless hours of gruelling chemotherapy, Pat soldered on, determined not to let the disease beat her.

Clare, who by then had a baby daughter Elle- now 14 - said: “Again she stood strong and she fought it. The chemo and radiotherapy were not nice at all but on she went and she still looked after Elle. Elle was a reason for her to fight the horrible illness again.” But, despite the second surgery, a few years later Pat discovered yet another lump in her chest - but this time there was nothing surgeons could do. Within weeks it had spread to her lungs, liver and bones and the family had to face the inevitable.

Clare added: “Treatment started again and time just disappeared. This time was different, she was ill with the treatment and I would say everybody treated us different. The medical staff knew what was ahead.” With every moment being precious Clare and partner Stuart decided to bring their wedding forward to guarantee that her mum would get to watch her walk down the aisle.

She said: “I was due to get married on April 30, 2005 and all of a sudden the consultant told us to move it so we planned to move it to January and then we were told ‘if you want your mum there, do it now’.

“The wedding planning went into full swing and it gave everyone something else to think about at times. Mum never wanted to know timelines of expected life and we never told her but I personally had to know, it’s just how I work. Unfortunately, by then mum had a fair idea. Why else would the wedding move to the end of the year and then within days it was moved again to under three weeks time.” After a lot of re-planning and re-organising, Clare walked down the aisle in a stunning gown, which her mum had saved hard to pay for.

Clare said: “The wedding came and went and she was there till the end. She couldn’t dance the first dance and she couldn’t get her shoes on, on the day so she wore slip on trainers with a beautiful dress and hat and she was there. She even refused the wheel chair and she walked down that full aisle.” The girls spent one final Christmas and New Year with their beloved mum, before, despite her brave fight, she finally succumbed to the disease on January 8.

Rozlyn says the sisters are taking part in the Race for Life because research funding is vital and, she believes if it was available back then, could have given her mum more time.

She said: “I think they key bit for me is that we didn’t know what we know now, there wasn’t preventative surgeries or gene testing or anything that would have saved mum. There is now. With all of the awareness and fundraising who knows in a different time mum could still have been here. That’s the moral of the story for me.” Clare added: “She was a mum in a million and she was a lady that lived for her girls and family. She always put everyone before her and her strengths and courage to fight this horrible illness should inspire millions.

“That’s why I run this Race for Life, to fight for people’s lives that can so cruelly be taken from them. The more money raise the more chance for lives to be saved and also to try and stop people experiencing the reality we unfortunately had too.” Lynsey Kellington, who is a lifelong friend of the family and set up the team ‘Pat’s Girls’ has also set up a Just Giving page for people to donate.

Lynsey said: “Pat was a second mum to me and everyone of Rozlyn and Clare’s friend. If Pat was in we always had somewhere to go, she was loving, friendly, with a warm personality and great sense of humour, Losing your mum at any age is harsh but for the girls to do it at a young age is awful, but they way they deal with it and get on with life is inspiring.” To donate visit www.justgiving.com/pats-girls10 The Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life takes place at Eglinton Country Park on May 17. The 10K starts at 9.30 and the 5K starts at 11.30.