A FAMILY from Pendle which has lost two members to cancer is urging fundraisers to become ‘barbecue heroes’ as part of a major fundraising drive.

Sisters Maxine Betts, Maureen Dixon and Eileen Eve know only too well the impact of the condition after losing their mother Marlene Hartley to breast cancer in 1994 and their sibling Jackie Robinson to cancer last year.

Only Maureen, 55, from Barrowford, out of the four sisters had not carried the hereditary BRCA2 gene, a key cancer indicator.

Maxine has already had her breasts and ovaries removed and Jackie initially underwent a lumpectomy before having the same procedures, when the condition spread to her lymph nodes.

Her final two years saw the cancer spread to her lungs, ribs and brain, as she endured painful chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.

The family is now backing Cancer Research UK’s ‘Big BBQ Bonanza’ this weekend, or stage a cook-out any time this month, in aid of the charity.

Mother-of-three Maxine Betts, who works at Asda in Colne, said: “Jackie was a real trailblazer for our family.

“Thanks to her being genetically tested in the first place, she has helped me to become almost free of a cancer risk. I want to urge as many people as possible to be barbecue Heroes this summer. All you need to do is fire up the barbecue and have fun supporting this incredibly worthwhile cause.”

The sisters have been supported by Maureen’s daughter Robyn.