A woman who lost five family members and three friends to cancer is to run four races to raise money to fight the disease.

Ellen Holmes family and friends have been so affected by the disease, the 52-year-old has signed up to race on behalf of Macmillan cancer care and support charity.

The mum-of-one lost her mother and three uncles to cancer, as well as two colleagues.

One of her friends is currently fighting the disease, as is her husband's aunt. Mrs Holmes' first race is the National Lottery Olympic Park run on March 31.

She will be one of the first members of the public to cross the finish line at the Olympic Stadium after being selected to participate in the five mile run.

More than 41,000 people applied for just 5,000 places, which were allocated through a random ballot.

She said: "I am so chuffed to be running this race. The route goes around the Olympic Village and finishes at the Olympic stadium.

"Over 41,000 applied to take part, I got my daughter to read the email three times when it came through, I couldn't believe I was chosen.

"The atmosphere and the experience will be amazing."

Mrs Holmes, who also works at Crystal Palace FC on match days, will also be participating in a Bupa 10k race in May as well as several Race for Life's.

At the end of October she will run 10 miles for the Bupa Great South Run.

She said: "I am not good at some things but this is just my little bit to raise awareness. It's just my contribution and I will be asking for donations but I know money is tight, so whatever people can spare."

Mrs Holmes has also organised a 'Green Day' at work to raise money for Macmillan and is looking for local businesses and companies to donate prices for the August raffle.

Anyone interested in donating a prize email Ellen on prizes4greenday2012@hotmail.co.uk.