THE mum of a Bacup toddler battling leukaemia is encouraging women and girls to take part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.

Three-year-old Anna Brooks was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in July last year after going to bed as normal, but waking up unable to get out of bed without help or carry any weight on her leg.

Mum Cath and dad Paul Brooks were devastated.

Anna underwent a bone marrow test, leading to her being diagnosed, and she started a course of chemotherapy treatment the very next morning.

She finished her last intensive course of chemotherapy in January and will now be on ‘maintenance’ chemotherapy treatment until 2015.

Doctors are pleased with Anna’s progress and she is now attending Blossoms Private Day Nursery in Vale Street, Bacup, part-time.

Cath, a social work manager, also mum to William, Jack and Lauren, took part in Race for Life when she was initially pregnant with Anna. She is now urging people to run in the series of 5km and 10km events in Burnley’s Towneley Park on Sunday, June 15 and at Blackburn’s Witton Park on Wednesday, June 25.

She said: “It was a complete shock when Anna was diagnosed with cancer.

“Anna is here today thanks to research.

“And that’s why I would encourage women to put their best foot forward and sign-up for the Race for Life.”

To enter Race for Life you can visit or call 0845 600 6050.