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Calverley's Tracey in running for special honour
A mum who beat a lifetime risk of cancer by opting for major surgery has been nominated for this year’s Jane Tomlinson Woman of Courage award.
Tracey Barraclough of Calverley will find out tomorrow at an awards ceremony if she is the winner of the category which forms part of the Yorkshire Women of Achievement honours, organised annually by Sue Ryder Care.
Also nominated is blind Emmerdale actress Kitty McGeever, from Wyke, who plays loveable rogue Lizzie Lakely in the soap.
Tracey, who has a teenage son, was put up for the award after turning the tough choices she had made in her life into positive possibilities.
The 49-year-old beat an 80 per cent chance of developing breast cancer by undergoing a double mastectomy – and then opted to have a hysterectomy – after her mother, grandmother and great grandmother died of ovarian cancer. Tests had shown she had the BRCA1 gene, which can lead to a lifetime risk of breast cancer and an increased chance of ovarian cancer.
Tracey, who trains hard to keep fit and sticks to a healthy diet, went on to become a qualified hypnotherapist and is now a successful motivational speaker. She is also writing her life story as well as entering bodybuilding tournaments and running marathons for cancer charities.
She said: “I’m just thrilled to be nominated. It’s mind-blowing. If I win it’s for my mum and her mum. If I don’t then they would’ve been proud anyway.’’ The Jane Tomlinson category is a poignant one for Tracey who knew the mum who left a fundraising legacy for cancer patients.
Tracey said: “I knew Jane just a little but she made a big impression. We would say hello whenever we met up at races and we started off the Race For Life in 2003 together. She even mentioned me in her first book. She was an all-time woman of courage.’’