27/02/2009

Tomlinson Cancer Appeal Tips Goal

A charity set up by a terminal cancer sufferer has exceeded the funding goal set before her untimely death.

Jane Tomlinson, who was awarded a CBE by the Queen for her brave work, died in September 2007 aged 43.

The mother-of-three had cycled across America raising £1.25m for cancer foundations while coping with her terminal illness.

A charity set up in the woman's name has now surpassed the £2m mark - with funding reportedly hitting £2.6m - an achievement which Jane's husband said was a testament to her character.

"Since Jane has died we have actually been raising more money," Mike Tomlinson told Reuters.

"It seems that what she achieved in her life has inspired people more than when she was alive.

"It's quite a remarkable testament to her."

One of the many people to pay tribute to Jane's "amazing spirit" was Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who described her as an "inspiration to millions around the world".

Two annual 10km runs are held in Leeds and York to raise money for the charity.

The events have attracted around 16,000 participants between them.

Jane first joined her local gym in 2000, after being told her cancer was terminal.

Three years later she became the first chemotherapy patient to run the London Marathon.

By the following year Jane had also become the first terminal sufferer to compete in an Ironman triathlon.

Her husband suggested Jane's fund-raising capacity is even more remarkable due to her relatively low public profile.

"One of the most remarkable things about this is that Jane didn't come from the background of being well-known or a media person: she had no connections to the corporate world," said 47-year-old Mike.

"All this money has come from hundreds of very small individual donations. I think that touches more than anything else.

"It is appealing to a huge number of people as opposed to a few main benefactors," he added.

(PR/JM)

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