WITH just two weeks to go until one of Southend's biggest charity runs, a breast cancer survivor is calling on local women to sign up.

Time is running out to secure a place for the 5k Race for Life event, taking place at Garon Park, Southend, on Sunday, May 8.

The deadline for entrants is midnight on Thursday, May 5.

Liz Williams, 23, is calling on mums and daughters, sisters, friends and colleagues to act now and sign up at raceforlife.org to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The trainee insurance broker spoke last year about her fight against breast cancer, and she will be returning this year to update the crowds on her progress.

She was only 21 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy and chemotherapy.

Ms Williams thought the cancer battle was all behind her, but tests showed she is a carrier of the BRCA-1 gene, which increases the risk of getting ovarian and breast cancer.

Later this year she will have a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery as a preventive measure to stop breast cancer returning.

She said: “I'm actually really looking forward to it in a weird way. I can't wait to have the operation and reconstruction so I don't have to worry about it all the time.

“They told me I had the BRCA-1 gene in August, it was a blow to hear that. It means at some point I will have to have my ovaries removed as well.

Ms Williams added: “I’m lucky they can do the test and predict the risk, that’s all down to research. Everyone who joins the pink army and takes part in Race for Life is helping to fund the next breakthroughs that can save lives in the future, so please sign up now while there’s still time.”

Last year, 1,524 women took part in Race for Life in Southend and raised £96,188.

This year, organisers need 1,800 women and girls to stride out to help raise £130,000.

The Pretty Muddy obstacle course will take place at Gloucester Park, Basildon, on Saturday, June 25, and the 5k run the following day.

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but more people are surviving the disease now than ever before.

Survival rates have doubled since the early Seventies.