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WATCH: Jordan joins the front line against cancer at Race for Life in Aberdeen

By David Porter

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INSPIRATIONAL Jordan Ramsay who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer aged 21 was chosen to lead the charge against the disease at Race for Life in Aberdeen.

Jordan from Stuartfield was guest of honour at Race for Life at Beach Esplanade on Sunday, July 2 and sounded the horn to get the event which 1619 people took part in underway.

A total of £125,000 was raised for Cancer Research UK, vital funds which will enable scientists to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer- helping to save more lives. It was a special day for Jordan who stood at the start line to cheer on participants.

On May 28, 2021 Jordan was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

She had been referred to hospital for tests after developing a lump on her neck below her right ear and suffering months of exhaustion.

She endured surgery and radioactive iodine treatment* before completing treatment and is now monitored closely.

Jordan Ramsay in hospital during treatment.
Jordan Ramsay in hospital during treatment.

Her sister, Katie Ramsay, 21, and Jordan’s parents, Kathleen and Alan Ramsay, both 54, provided rock solid support. Jordan’s powerful words and videos on Instagram @Jordansthryoidcancerjourney attracted followers from across the world.

Jordan, now 23, said: “My scar tells the story of something that tried to break me but didn’t succeed.

“I’ve made friends for life from all over the world by writing my Instagram and Tik Tok pages.

"It makes what I’ve been through seem worthwhile when people message me saying that in some small way I’ve helped them.

“I’m proud to launch Race for Life Aberdeen on behalf of every single person in Scotland with cancer.”

The Warm Up gets underway at the Race for Life Aberdeen.
The Warm Up gets underway at the Race for Life Aberdeen.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with headline sponsor Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, is an inspiring series of 3k,5k,10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding 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 took part in the Race for Life Aberdeen 10k.

And Kevin Stewart MSP was on hand at the finish line to give out medals.

Participants were entertained on the course by Rock Choir who performed at Race for Life Aberdeen.

They celebrated 30 years of the much-loved event series by transporting the crowds 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, of Huntly.

She took part in memory of her sister Julie Williams, a mum of two who was just 46 when she died on May 30 2023 after cancer spread to her liver. More than £27,000 has been raised by the team in memory of HR manager Julie.

The team was named “Team 9 to 5”, in tribute to Julie’s favourite Dolly Parton song.

Lynn said: “Our hearts were truly broken when we lost my big sister Julie.

“Life as we know it changed overnight and we will always have a Julie shaped hole in our lives that cannot be filled by anyone other than Julie. Today is a tribute to Julie who we all loved so much.”

Now organisers of Race for Life Aberdeen are sending a heartfelt message of thanks to everyone who put their best feet forward as well as their supporters. And they’re appealing for people to make every step count by paying in sponsorship money as soon as possible.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took part in Race for Life Aberdeen.

“Life-saving research is being funded right now thanks to our supporters who fundraise.

"The atmosphere at Race for Life Aberdeen was hugely moving - full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter as people celebrated the lives of those dear to them who have survived cancer and remembered loved ones lost to the disease.

“Now we’re asking everyone who took part to return the money they’re raised as soon as possible. Funds raised - whether it’s £10 or £100 - will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, helping save more lives.”

Jordan’s story

Early years practitioner Jordan Ramsay planned at least one fun activity every day during summer 2021 to keep her mind off cancer treatment.

She came up with the idea during a week-long family holiday on the islands of Skye and Harris then kept going when she got home. Jordan posted photos of the highlights on her social media accounts, including everything from ordering ice cream to sailing, watching a sunset to playing mini golf with her sister.

The memories kept her going through 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 one metre 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 hospital 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 mum Kathleen Ramsay was allowed to get close to her for five weeks.

The radioactive iodine treatment is a form of internal radiotherapy. Thyroid cancer cells pick up the iodine wherever they are in the body. The radiation in the iodine then kills the cancer cells. The radioactive iodine is a targeted treatment which means it doesn’t 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 receives regular check ups.The thyroid gland sets the rate at which the body produces energy so having it removed means Jordan also has to take daily medication to regulate it artificially.

Jordan said: “My life was turned totally upside down by cancer.

“My journey has not been easy. Coming out the other side has been the hardest but I’m getting there. Here’s to the future and to navigating my new normal.”

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