A MUM and cancer survivor is encouraging women to sign up for a 5k run and help others diagnosed with the disease.

Jeni Spinks, of Blackwood, was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 31, after suffering with chronic stomach pain.

The former RAF clerk then had surgery to remove part of her bowel and has since been cancer free.

She said: “I really didn’t expect to get cancer at such a young age but it just shows that anyone can be affected. Thankfully, I recovered quickly and didn’t need any chemotherapy or radiotherapy, just regular CT scans every year.”

In March 2016, Mrs Spinks, now 36, and her husband, Calum, 37, were overjoyed when they found out they were expecting a son, Clarkson.

Mrs Spinks said: “I welcomed my son into the world and he helped me heal and appreciate how amazing my body is. He has also massively helped my mental health as I have struggled with depression in the past. He has given me a new focus and we just adore him.”

She has now signed up to Cancer Research UK’s 5K Race for Life, in Cwmbran, in June this year, and is encouraging others to do the same.

“I'm taking part in Race for Life as it will be my fifth year cancer free," said Mrs Spinks.

"Clarkson will be there with me and I will be pushing him along the route in his pram.

“I first took part in the event 10 years ago as a number of my family members have been affected by the disease. I think it will be very emotional taking part, especially after my own experience with cancer. I’m determined to do all that I can to raise money for life-saving research so that more women, men and children survive cancer.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Hiking events which raise millions of pounds every year to help those who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Katie Cooze, Cancer Research UK’s South Wales event manager, said: “By following Jeni’s lead and joining like-minded ladies committed to the cause, local women can unite against a disease that affects us all in some way. Whether they plan to pound the pavements or amble to the finish line, every step participants take will help to support crucial research.”

For more information about Cancer Research UK's Race for Life, visit raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org