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WATCH: Highland Traitors star set to launch cancer charity race in memory of grandparents

By Federica Stefani

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Evie Morrison (left) and wife Kayleigh Deane with their rescue dogs Arlo and Dash at Loch Ness. Picture: Paul Campbell.
Evie Morrison (left) and wife Kayleigh Deane with their rescue dogs Arlo and Dash at Loch Ness. Picture: Paul Campbell.

A star of TV hit The Traitors who lost both her grandparents to cancer has been chosen to help launch a charity event in Inverness.

Inverness veterinary nurse Evie Morrison (30) made it through to the final five of series two of the BBC show set in Ardross Castle.

Now she is set to sound the starting horn for Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in Inverness on Sunday, June 2.

Evie also plans to take part in the 5k event with her wife Kayleigh Deane (31) and their rescue dogs Arlo and Dash.

Proceeds from the race will support research for cancer prevention and treatment.

This is a cause close to the heart of the Traitors star, who lost her grandmother Alice Orr to oesophageal cancer in 2006 and her granddad Robert from bowel cancer in 2018.

“My Nana Alice was an incredibly strong, wonderful woman,” she said.

“She was head of the household and we all loved her very much. I have the best memories of happy times spent with Nana when I was growing up. It was often three generations of us having fun together, my nana, my mum and me. Nana loved animals and at one point cared for eight rescue dogs at home. I think it was Nana who first taught me to care and respect animals, a love which eventually led me to train as a vet nurse.

Evie Morrison as a wee girl with her Nana Alice Orr who died from cancer.
Evie Morrison as a wee girl with her Nana Alice Orr who died from cancer.

“Nana Alice was a beautiful lady. Sadly she had a long, hard battle with cancer which turned out to be inoperable. When she passed away there was a massive hole left in all of our lives. Years later, we also lost my granddad to cancer. Like so many families, our family has been touched by the disease and lost people too soon. I’ll Race for Life in my grandparents’ memory but also to help people who are going through cancer right now.”

A keen runner, Evie has already completed the Edinburgh and Loch Ness marathons and plans to run the London Marathon on April 21.

A keen outdoor enthusiast, she proposed to her wife up Beinn Damh mountain in Torridon.

She has already scaled 158 munros and set herself a target of climbing all 282 mountains in Scotland which are 3,000ft or higher. Other passions include camping, biking and open water swimming. It was that sense of adventure which first inspired her to sign up for the show.

“Scotland is a fantastic place to adventure and run in,” she said.

“I’m proud to call the north of Scotland my home. I loved the opportunity to be in series two of The Traitors. It was the most amazing experience.

“It’s filmed near my home and I enjoyed the chance to be the unofficial tour guide for the film crew and cast, pointing out all the beautiful places. I was proud to see other people enjoy the Scottish Highlands as much as me.

Evie Morrison (left) and wife Kayleigh Deane with their rescue dogs Arlo and Dash at Loch Ness. Picture: Paul Campbell.
Evie Morrison (left) and wife Kayleigh Deane with their rescue dogs Arlo and Dash at Loch Ness. Picture: Paul Campbell.

“Most of them can’t wait to come back which is great. The Traitors was one massive, big fun thing to do. There are lots of good things coming up this year and if I can help people along the way that’s even better.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with sponsor Standard Life is a series of 3k, 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.

The events take place across the country and are open to all ages and abilities.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “We are grateful to Evie and Kayleigh for their support.

“No matter how cancer affects us, life is worth racing for. Sadly nearly 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime.** Race for Life has the power not only to transform lives, but to save them. We’re proud that Race for Life has already helped double survival rates in the UK.

“We’d love for as many people as possible across Scotland to join us at Race for Life. There is an event for everyone and we mean everyone. Walk, jog, run or take on the course however it suits best. It’s a chance to feel the power of moving together with fellow Race for Lifers and to treasure that moment of crossing the finish line.

“Whether people are living with cancer, are taking part in honour of or in memory of a loved one with the disease, or are in it for the medals or just for the fun of fundraising, there is a place for everyone.”

Money raised by Race for Life has helped develop radiotherapy which benefits more than 130,000 people with cancer in the UK every year. Cancer Research UK funded scientists leading the development of the Human Papillomavirus Virus vaccine, which is expected to prevent almost 90 per cent of cervical cancers in the UK. The charity also funded many large clinical trials looking at the effectiveness of the drug tamoxifen and the research shaped the way the drug is used to treat breast cancer today.

Andy Curran, Chief Executive of Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, said: “We are incredibly proud to continue as headline sponsor for Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, with the opportunity to encourage participation across the country.

“By working to raise funds for life-saving research, we can move towards a future where people live longer and healthier lives, free of cancer.”

The Inverness Race for Life 5k event will start and finish at Highland Rugby Club on Sunday, June 2.

You can find out more about the event and sign up at raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org.

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