A DETERMINED Wee County woman is set to take part in one of the UK's biggest sporting challenges in memory of her mum.

Sarah-Jane Burns, of Dollar, will be running the London Marathon on April 26 in memory of her mum Joan, who died aged 59 from bowel cancer in 2008.

She has already raised more than £1,000 and is hoping to raise more at a quiz night this Friday, March 6 at the Dollar Hive.

Sarah-Jane said: "My mum was the best mum a girl could ask for.

"Mum battled right to the end and was so positive.

"We were so close, a huge hole in my life was left when we lost her.

"I want to do everything I can to fund research in to gentler and better treatments for cancer so other families have more tomorrows with their loved ones."

To mark the 10-year anniversary of her mum's death, Sarah-Jane took on 10 running challenges in 2018, finishing with an impressive total of more than £3,000 after completing events including her first half marathon.

She was also invited to be the VIP starter at the Cancer Research UK Race for Life at the University of Stirling in May that year, sounding the horn to set participants off on the 5K and 10K courses before completing the 10K herself.

Sarah-Jane is also a Rainbow Guide leader in Dollar and a member of the Wee County fundraising committee for Cancer Research UK.

Furthermore, when Sarah-Jane and her husband Gregor Burns married in 2015, instead of wedding favours, donations were split between Cancer Research UK and Prostate Cancer Scotland, in memory of Gregor's father Ronnie who had also died from cancer.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK's spokeswoman in Scotland, said: "It's thanks to support from people like Sarah-Jane that we are able to research kinder, more effective treatments for cancer.

"Everyone who pulls on their trainers for Cancer Research UK will know every step they take brings us closer to winning the race against the disease."

Preparing for her first marathon has been the toughest fitness challenge yet but Sarah-Jane has refused to be daunted by the inhospitable weather.

She said: "There may have been high winds, rain, even sleet but marathon training hasn't stopped.

"Some days training runs don't go to plan and I can end up feeling absolutely deflated. But it doesn't take me long to remember why I started this journey. I'll keep going no matter what.

"This means so much to me as my wish is one day that no one will have to live with cancer as scientists will find a cure."

Tickets to the quiz night this Friday, at the Dollar Hive, cost £10, and can be obtained by emailing sarahjanewatkins@hotmail.com

To sponsor Sarah-Jane at this year's London Marathon, visit tinyurl.com/tkbvl6o