Sunderland actress Anna Murray reveals how dad's cancer inspired her to take part in this year’s Great North Run

Grease musical star Anna Murray, 27, is preparing to run the half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields in September to raise funds for the Throat Cancer Foundation after her dad Michael, 59, was given the all clear.

The singer and actress, who is originally from Sunderland but now lives in London, told how watching her dad endure grueling cancer treatment had a devastating impact on her family.

Her dad Michael Murray, a financial advisor for a pharmaceutical company, was diagnosed with throat cancer aged 53 in October 2012 despite having never been ill his entire life.Anna said: “It came as a massive shock to all of the family.

My dad had never smoked a cigarette in his life and he was a really healthy, energetic man.

“He had a sore throat and went to the doctors but it didn’t seem to be going away so he went back and forth to the doctors for months.“By chance they put a camera down and they caught it.

”Michael was forced to undergo grueling chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment throughout the 2012 Christmas period – radiotherapy five days every week and chemotherapy every Friday for six exhaustive weeks.

Michael is been left without the ability to taste and suffers from a permanently dry mouth.Anna added: “He’s doing really well now but he’s been affected for life.

He had to be fed through a tube and it was awful to see the strongest man in our family so weak. “I found it awful emotionally and I really struggled with it and so did my brother. My mum, who is a nurse, became the backbone of our family.

”Kindhearted Anna will be joined by family friend Sally Harris to raise funds for the Throat Cancer Foundation when they both take part in the 13.1 mile run on September 9.Anna continued: “I’ve always wanted to do the Great North. It holds a special place in my heart and I’ve always wanted to run for this charity.”

posted Tuesday July 30th
by Tom Patterson