A WEYMOUTH woman inspired by her 'special, loving and unforgettable' mother leapt into action to encourage others to join her in the Dorchester Race for Life.
Aimee Dunning, 25, joined fellow zumba dancers for a performance at Brewery Square in the county town to promote the event at Kingston Maurward on May 18, which will raise thousands of pounds for the vital work of Cancer Research UK.
The dancers demonstrated the Cancer Slam, a fun and defiant dance that will be performed by thousands of women as they warm up for Race for Life events all over the country.
Aimee first took part in the Race for Life two years ago in memory of her mum Andrea Dunning, a music teacher at Wey Valley School who lost her brave battle with cancer in 2011 at the age of only 54.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, Andrea was off work for a year as she underwent chemotherapy and surgery but recovered and was able to return to teaching.
Daughter Aimee said: “She was very strong and came fighting back after going through such a scary time”.
In 2008 Andrea suffered back pains, which were initially put down to stress but further tests confirmed her cancer had returned and spread.
Aimee, a regional events and marketing intern at Cancer Research UK, added: “I remember that day very well.
“I called my dad on the way back from hospital and I knew straight away mum's cancer had returned and she was terminally ill.”
Aimee had been due to start university in Bristol and, although she wanted to stay at home and take care of her mum, it was her mum's wish that she continued with her education.
She spent as much time as possible with her mum as she spent the next two-and-a-half years battling the disease.
Aimee said: “Whem mum died in 2011 my world crumbled and my family and I were devastated.
“I am still grieving my mother and I don't think I will ever get over losing her “Throughout her illness, mum remained strong, graceful and beautiful.
“She was the most special, loving and unforgettable woman.”
Aimee first took part in Race for Life in 2012 with university friends.
She said: “It was an overwhelming atmosphere and I felt like I was a part of something important.
“My experience of cancer has given me the passion and drive to get as many people as possible involved.”
For more information about the Dorchester Race for Life or to enter visit raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.