INSPIRATION Jordan Ramsay, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 21, was chosen to lead the charge against the disease at Race for Life in Aberdeen.
Jordan from Stuartfield was the guest of honor at Race for Life on Beach Esplanade on Sunday 2nd July and sounded the horn to kick off the event which saw 1619 people participate.
A total of £125,000 was raised for Cancer Research UK, essential funds that will enable scientists to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, saving more lives. It was a special day for Jordan who was at the start to encourage the participants.
On May 28, 2021, Jordan was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
She had been referred to the hospital for examination after developing a lump on her neck below her right ear and being exhausted for months.
She underwent surgery and radioactive iodine* treatment before completing treatment and is now being closely monitored.
Her sister, Katie Ramsay, 21, and Jordan’s parents, Kathleen and Alan Ramsay, both 54, provided unwavering support. Jordan’s powerful words and videos on Instagram @Jordansthryoidcancerjourney attracted followers from around the world.
Jordan, now 23, said: “My scar tells the story of something that tried to break me but couldn’t.
“I have made friends for life from all over the world by writing my Instagram and Tik Tok pages.
“It makes what I’ve been through worth it when people send me a message saying I helped them in some way.
“I am proud to launch Race for Life Aberdeen on behalf of every person in Scotland with cancer.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with main sponsor Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, is an inspiring series of 3k, 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events that raise millions of pounds each year to help beat cancer by funding of crucial research.
This is the 30th year of Race for Life and all participants received an exclusive medal to mark the milestone.
MSPs Jackie Dunbar, Gillian Martin and David Torrance competed in the Race for Life Aberdeen 10k.
And Kevin Stewart MSP was on hand at the finish line to award medals.
The participants were entertained on the track by the rock choir that performed at Race for Life Aberdeen.
They celebrated 30 years of the beloved event series by taking audiences back to the 1990s with a selection of hits from that decade, including the 1994 hit, “Dreams” by The Cranberries.
Participants included Lynn Dawson, 44, from Huntly.
She participated in memory of her sister Julie Williams, a mother of two who was just 46 when she died on May 30, 2023 after cancer had spread to her liver. The team has raised over £27,000 in memory of HR manager Julie.
The team was named “Team 9 to 5”, in homage to Julie’s favorite Dolly Parton song.
Lynn said: “Our hearts were truly broken when we lost my big sister Julie.
“Life as we know it has changed overnight and we will always have a Julie-shaped hole in our lives that cannot be filled by anyone but Julie. Today is a tribute to Julie whom we all loved so much.”
Now Race for Life Aberdeen organizers are sending a heartfelt thank you to everyone who put their best foot forward, as well as their supporters. And they call on people to make every step count by transferring sponsorship money as soon as possible.
Lisa Adams, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK in Scotland, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who took part in Race for Life Aberdeen.
“Life-saving research is currently being funded thanks to our supporters raising money.
“The atmosphere at Race for Life Aberdeen was immensely moving – full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter as people celebrated the lives of those they loved and who survived cancer and remembered loved ones lost to the disease.
“Now we ask everyone who participated to return the money raised as soon as possible. The funds raised – be it £10 or £100 – will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, saving more lives.”
Early Years practitioner Jordan Ramsay planned at least one fun activity every day during the summer of 2021 to take her mind off cancer treatment.
She came up with the idea during a week-long family holiday on the Isles of Skye and Harris and carried on when she got home. Jordan posted photos of the highlights on her social media accounts, which included everything from ordering ice cream to sailing, watching a sunset to playing miniature golf with her sister.
The memories led her to have surgery on July 30 to remove all of her thyroid and 73 lymph nodes. A total of 11 of these lymph nodes were later found to be cancerous.
And in November 2021, Jordan had to stay at least three feet away from all friends and family on her birthday after becoming radioactive due to treatment for thyroid cancer.
The cancer-killing tablet Jordan was given meant she had to isolate first in the hospital and then in her bedroom, unable even to share a birthday cake with her loved ones. Everything Jordan touched had to be thrown away. Not even her mother Kathleen Ramsay was allowed near her for five weeks.
Treatment with radioactive iodine is a form of internal radiotherapy. Thyroid cancer cells take up the iodine all over the body. The radiation in the iodine then kills the cancer cells. The radioactive iodine is a targeted treatment, meaning it does not affect other cells in the body. Any radioactive iodine that is not absorbed by the thyroid cancer cells leaves the body in sweat and urine.
Jordan is checked regularly. The thyroid determines the rate at which the body produces energy, so if it is removed, Jordan must also take daily medication to artificially regulate it.
Jordan said: “Cancer turned my life upside down.
“My journey has not been easy. Coming out the other side was the hardest part, but I’ll get there. To the future and to navigating my new normal.”
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