Headteacher’s battle against cancer inspires pupils

Bridlewood primary staff and pupils are taking part in the Mad March Hare in honour of headteacher Jo Garton, pictured in the centre

Bridlewood primary staff and pupils are taking part in the Mad March Hare in honour of headteacher Jo Garton, pictured in the centre

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @EmmaDunnn

TAKING part in the Mad March Hare will have extra meaning for pupils and staff at Bridlewood Primary School this year.

Headteacher Jo Garton had surgery for breast cancer at the end of January and will soon be starting radiotherapy, which has inspired many members of the school to take part.

The event on March 24, which raises funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer Wiltshire, will also see children and staff taking part in honour of one of the mums, Lea Davidson, who also has breast cancer.

Ms Garton, 48, of Old Town, who will be walking the 5k route, said: “This disease affects one in eight of us and if we manage to raise some money for a good cause then it’s a good thing.

“There are lots of people who are affected or will be affected by it but it is not the end of the world any more because the treatment is really good. It is a scary thing but the treatment is so good.

“I was lucky because I went to the doctor fairly early. I noticed some dimpling and went to the GP and they sent me to the hospital. I was lucky that it hadn’t got any further than the tumour itself.”

The Mad March Hare, which is open to people of all ages and abilities, has raised more than £52,000 since the first event in 2008.

People who take part can walk, jog or run the 5km or 10km route, which starts and finishes at Lydiard Park Academy, in Grange Park.

“The school took part in 2011 and it was nice because we had a real variety of people. We had a mum who was heavily pregnant, we had children in pushchairs and we had lots of people supporting us on the way around,” said Ms Garton, who has been headteacher at Bridlewood for five years.

Maddie Davidson, 11, who is in Year 6, is taking part in honour of her mum, Lea, 41, of Oakhurst.

“I took part in 2011 and it was really good because there were lots of people there and it was a really nice atmosphere,” she said.

“Mum is going to come and cheer me on. My nan is doing it with me and lots of people in my class are doing it too. My mum said it’s really good that we are taking part.”

Finley Young, 10, also in Year 6, said: “When I am older I want to raise a lot of money for charity. I really like running and it is good to be raising money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer Wiltshire.”

To sponsor Team Bridlewood visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Bridlewood.

Adult entry is £12 and children are £6. To take part visit www.madmarchhare.

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