A FAMILY who lost "a daughter, sister and friend" to breast cancer during lockdown has raised almost £39,000 towards lifesaving research.

The family of mother-of-two Cathrin Higgins, from Paisley, has raised £38,841.81 in her memory after she passed away from an aggressive form of cancer in May last year.

Cathrin was just 34 years old when she was diagnosed in 2016, and received chemotherapy, radiotherapy, had a mastectomy and was offered a new drug as part of a trial.

While the new drug treated the cancer in her chest, sadly Cathrin had three tumours in her brain, a result of secondary breast cancer.

Glasgow Times:

Just two months after her passing, Cathrin’s devastated mum Anne Longue, and an army of others, raised over £6000 by taking on a 200km walk around their hometown.

Then, in April of this year, they fronted charity Worldwide Cancer Research’s Spring Appeal, bravely opening up about their experience and how cancer research gives them hope for the future, resulting in a further £32,841.81 in donations.

Anne said: “Cat was incredibly driven, intelligent, honest, and hilariously funny.

“She had such a strong personality, which made it even more difficult to watch her lose that as time went on.

“It was three years into the journey when we knew for sure that were out of options.

“Then my beautiful, bubbly and bright Cat passed away on May 7, 2020.

“It felt like I lost a part of myself that day; it’s been the most terrifying and lonely time of my life."

READ MORE: Glasgow-born medical pioneer whose breast cancer research saved thousands

Glasgow Times: Cathrin and AnneCathrin and Anne

In the UK, it is estimated 35,000 people are currently living with secondary breast cancer, which is being researched by Dr Manuel Valiente and his team at a Worldwide Cancer Research funded lab in Spain.

Anne said: “When a friend of Cathrin’s suggested we get in touch with Worldwide Cancer Research after reading about them in a newspaper, the charity was quick to tell us about Dr Manuel Valiente’s research project.

“It’s exactly the kind of research that could have maybe helped Cathrin, and it’s so important that people continue to donate to cancer research so that projects like this one can continue.

“Being able to support Worldwide Cancer Research this year has given me a glimmer of hope for the future.

“Hope that researchers will continue to make breakthroughs that will lead to desperately needed new treatment options.

Glasgow Times: Dr Manuel ValienteDr Manuel Valiente

She added: “People don’t know what to say or do when you go through something like this but supported cancer research gives everyone something they can do to help.

“I encourage people to give what they can to cancer research; it’s the only thing that will end cancer and stop families like mine from experiencing the pain and devastation that we’ve felt.”

Worldwide Cancer Research thanked the family as Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end, and the money raised will go towards funding the Edinburgh-based charity’s research.

Dr Helen Rippon, chief executive at Worldwide Cancer Research, said: “Devastatingly, stories like Cathrin’s are far too common.

“Around 165,000 people still die from cancer in the UK every year.

“That’s over 450 a day.

“And although we’re making huge strides forward, there’s still so much to be done, but we can’t do it alone.

“We’d like to say a massive thank you to Cathrin’s family for fronting this campaign, for raising over £38,000 towards cancer research and helping us continue to make our groundbreaking research possible.

“I know that with your support, we will keep starting new cancer cures that will one day end cancer.”

Glasgow Times: Dr Helen RipponDr Helen Rippon

For more information or to support Worldwide Cancer Research, visit https://www.worldwidecancerresearch.org/support-us/donate/