North East Connected


A Hartlepool couple who were both diagnosed with cancer on the same day, are being remembered at the town’s Race for Life – as their son, daughter and grandchildren will ring the starting bell, on their grandson’s eighth birthday.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in Hartlepool takes place this Sunday 30 June at Hartlepool Promenade.

Dan Woodward (39) and his sons Harry (turning 8 on Sunday) and Ethan (15), plus Dan’s sister Becky Hetherington and her children William (13) and Grace (12) will be the guests of honour at the 10k Race for Life.

The family are ringing the bell in memory of Dan and Becky’s parents – Nora and Trevor – on Harry’s eighth birthday.

Nora and Trevor Woodward were diagnosed with cancer just 45 minutes apart on 22 December 2011.

Nora was given the news that she had lung cancer, with Trevor being diagnosed with shortly afterwards.

They sadly died within weeks of their diagnosis. Nora died on 3 January 2012, with Trevor passing away on the day of Nora’s funeral – 13 January 2012 – a day after their son Dan’s 32nd birthday.

The couple, who lived in Hartlepool, were married in 1975.

Nora was originally from West View and Trevor from Headlands.

Their family will be ringing the starting bell in their memory for over 900 participants who have signed up to the event.

Nora and Trevor’s son, Dan said: “Harry was only six months old when mam and dad passed away, so it means a lot to us that he’ll be joining us to ring the bell in their memory.

“We’re honoured to be asked to do this for mam and dad and it’s nice that we’re going to be there as a family, thinking of them.

“When they were diagnosed, it was heart-breaking – even more so that they were diagnosed on the same day. Everything was such a shock. It all happened so fast.

“Looking back at our experience, we would encourage anyone with symptoms that they’re worried about, to get them checked out.”

Dan and his family are calling on other families in the town to join the Race for Life, no matter what their age or ability, because every participant can help make a real difference.

There’s still time to enter the Race for Life in Hartlepool and organisers are encouraging people committed to the cause to sign up to the 10k event right now at

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.

Fiona Murray, Cancer Research UK’s Senior Events Manager for Hartlepool, said: “We’re very grateful to Dan and Becky for being our guests of honour and hope that by ringing the starting bell with their children, they can pay tribute to their parents.

“By joining the Race for Life events in Hartlepool, people can make a real difference in the fight against cancer. The Race for Life events are fun, colourful, emotional and uplifting. You don’t need to be sporty to take part. You don’t have to train, and you certainly don’t need to compete against anyone else.”

Every hour, 2 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North East*. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Fiona continued: “To make a significant difference in the fight against cancer we need to harness as much energy and commitment as possible! We need everyone in the town to be inspired by Dan, Becky and their family and join an event.

“We’re urging mums, dads, nans, grandpas, brothers, sisters, friends and workmates to show their support by joining the Race for Life. It’s a perfect example of everyday people doing an extraordinary thing – uniting in a common cause to beat cancer.

“We encourage our participants to help raise money in what every way they like – there are lots of ideas on the Race for Life website – because this allows Cancer Research UK to fund vital research that saves lives. This includes clinical trials which give patients in the region access to the latest treatments.”

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend over £5 million last year in the North East on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.

To enter Race for Life today visit or call 0300 123 0770.


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