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So brave - Jane Tomlinson

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Jane Tomlinson
21 February 1964 - 3 September 2007
Image: Leeds University

Seven years ago Jane defied her diagnosis of death in six months from cancer. While enduring painful chemotherapy treatments, she completed a degree, ran marathons and completed an Ironman triathlon that raised £millions for charity. She saw both of her daughters enter university, her son turn nine, and her granddaughter Emily born.

"When I was first told I was going to die," she recalled several years ago, "my son was only three, and I could not bear the idea that he would not remember me. . .Now at 40 I feel I have done more than a lot of people do in a lifetime. So if it's my time this year, I would say, thank you, God, for what you gave me."

Her husband Mike and their three children gave her "unwavering support". They joined her in 2006 when she cycled 4200 miles across the United States from San Francisco to New York.


Jane detested being thought of as a cancer sufferer, and never thought she was special. She was simply determined she would not curl up and wait to die. Her physical exertions have entered medical literature because they may have helped her to stave off the disease.

The work of her charities lives on. To give to a UK charity in memory of Jane, click Jane's Appeal.

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