Lisa puts foot foward in walk for cancer

Lisa puts foot foward in walk for cancer

15 August 2018

A DOWNPATRICK woman who lost both her parents to cancer is once again pounding the streets by candlelight.

Lisa Glackin is raising money for Cancer Research UK by taking part in its night-time Shine Walk for third time.

Shine is the charity’s marathon night walk, bringing people from across the UK together to light up its cities and fund life-saving research.

With walks in London and Glasgow under her belt, this year Lisa, who helps manage the Downpatrick Cancer Research shop, is taking on Shine in Liverpool on September 8.

“I think my motivation is the same,” she said. “In the last 10 years I have lost both my parents to cancer. It still seems so recent.”

Lisa’s mum, Mary Ritchie, passed away three years ago following a short battle with ovarian cancer.

Although she was 81 when she died, Lisa said it was very difficult to see the impact of the disease on such an active and independent woman.

She said it was ironic that she started to work at the Cancer Research shop in Downpatrick just before her mum received her news.

“We were told nothing could be done,” said Lisa. “It was very traumatic having just 10 weeks to say goodbye to your mum. She was a strong person. She was very independent.

“We had some great support from cancer charities but it made me realise how important research into the disease is.

“You may not hear as much about Cancer Research as other charities but it’s work is what is really required.”

Sadly in 2007, Lisa’s father, Terry Ritchie, died from bowel cancer at the age of 79.

“He was a farmer and still doing everything up until a couple of months before he died,” she said.

Lisa said her experience with her parents meant she had a message for anyone concerned about any unusual symptoms.

“If anyone has any wee niggles get them checked out,” she said. “Go to your doctor.”

Lisa said her loss, and the struggles of others faced with cancer, had prompted her to sign up for the sponsored Shine walks in which people adorn themselves with lights.

“I will be wearing my fairy lights,” she said. “It is a really nice atmosphere. It is amazing when everybody comes together and when people are all lit up in the dark.

“I made £1,000 last time and would love to make that again.”

Lisa said she was fortunate to have the support of the local community when fundraising, including the volunteers in her St Patrick’s Avenue charity shop.

“The customers are amazing as well as encouraging,” she said. “Lee Parr, the other manager, and all the volunteers are amazing.

“Sponsorship forms are in the shop for anyone who wishes to make a donation.”

Lisa also has an online fundraising page on the Cancer Research website (visit: