A RUNCORN-BASED medical student is set to take on the London Marathon to raise money for the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal.

Catherine Craven-Howe, 34, is currently studying medicine at Liverpool University and was the first participant in a pioneering cancer research project, Breast Cancer Risk Assessment in Young Women (BCAN-RAY), which aims to identify women at risk of breast cancer in their 30s.

Funded by The Christie Charity and Cancer Research UK, BCAN-RAY was established in memory of Sarah Harding, a member of Girls Aloud who was 39 when she passed away from breast cancer.

“Although I don’t have breast cancer myself and I don’t have a history of it in my family, as a medical student I know just how important clinical trials and research are,” said Catherine.

“It’s an opportunity that I feel truly honoured to have been given and I hope my participation will help devise a simple test to detect the likelihood of breast cancer for young women like me in the future.”

Catherine will take on the London Marathon, alongside 50,000 other runners, on Sunday, April 21.

“I decided to sign up to participate in the London Marathon and fundraise for The Christie, following my involvement with the BCAN-RAY study and talking with breast cancer consultant Dr Sacha Howell further about it,” said Catherine.

“I have had fantastic support from friends and family and I’m planning another fundraising push this month. My goal is to raise £2,000 for the Christie Charity if I can.”

Catherine hopes to become a doctor once she has finished her degree in either ophthalmology, endocrinology or oncology.

“We’re doubly grateful to Catherine for not only signing up to the breast cancer research project, but also for fundraising for us,” said Lindsey Farthing, sports events manager at The Christie Charity.

“Without people like her willing to take part in crucial medical research we would never see advances in cancer treatment.”

To donate to Catherine's fundraising page, click here, or to support the work of The Christie Charity, more information can be found here.