A GOUROCK nurse has gone the extra mile for Ardgowan Hospice after they helped two of her relatives beat cancer.

Arlene McNelis, who works in the surgical ward at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, completed the Great Scottish Run 10k for the hospice — a cause which is very close to her heart.

The 46-year-old, of Arran Road, says she will be forever indebted to the incredible staff and volunteers who looked after her mum Helen McEwan and aunt Rena Lindsay, who both fought and won their battles with cancer.

She told the Tele: “My mum and aunt have both had lung cancer – and both survived.

“They were helped so much by the hospice.

“I also used to go with my mum to the Access Centre and we found it very beneficial as we met a lot of other people who were going through similar experiences.”

After her mum and aunt recovered, Arlene was keen to give something back to the charity for their help.

She said: “My friend Elaine, who works at the hospice, had told me she had joined a wee running group called the Inverclyde Couch to 5K.

“I used to run years ago and I’d done a few races, but developed back and hip problems about three years ago and I couldn’t run.

“But Elaine invited me along to the group so I started walking before jogging and then slowly built it up to do the 5k park run.

“I then decided to sign up for the Great Scottish Run, so within nine weeks I had built up from a one minute walk to running a 10k.”

Arlene’s determination paid off as not only did she clock a respectable time of 56 minutes and 28 seconds, she also raised over £1,000 for the hospice.

She said: “At the finishing line I felt absolutely amazing.

“I’m so pleased to have raised over £1,000 as I had initially set my target at £250.”

Arlene says her mum and aunt’s bravery motivated her to reach the finish.

She said: “I’m really proud of my mum.

“She does everything for us and my auntie is the exact same.

“The two of them are from the same mould — they live and do everything for their family.”

Arlene, who lives in Arran Road with her husband Sean and her two children Kian, 14, and Mya, 10, says she is grateful to everyone who donated, especially her colleagues and patients in the surgical ward at the IRH.

Elaine McNeill, Ardgowan community development manager, said that the amount of money Arlene raised will pay for four people to receive the same therapies that she and her mum received.

She said: “It’s so wonderful that Arlene is back into running again and at the same time she has raised this money for the hospice.”