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Last Updated: Friday, 28 January, 2005, 15:19 GMT
Inspiring journey of brave Jane
Jane Tomlinson
Jane Tomlinson became one charity's biggest ever fundraiser
Four years ago Jane Tomlinson was told by doctors to go home and tell her family she was dying from cancer.

At that time she never thought she would even be alive today, let alone that she would have achieved so much.

The paediatric radiographer was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990 at the age of 26. She underwent a mastectomy and went into remission.

Ten years later she was told the cancer had returned, spreading to her lungs and bones, and that it would kill her.

Grim prognosis

Doctors could not estimate whether she had months or years left with her three children and husband Mike.

All they could guarantee was that the cancer was incurable and would continue to spread.

Today, her prognosis is still the same.

But in the last four years she has completed some of the world's most gruelling athletic challenges, been awarded the highest accolades in the country, inspired hundreds of people to take up sport and given hope and encouragement to cancer sufferers across the country.

Mrs Tomlinson has raised 1,150,000 after finishing the London Marathon three times, the London Triathlon twice, completing two half-Ironman triathlons, attempting the Nice three-quarter Ironman, cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End and from Rome to her home in Leeds.

Of reaching her 1m fund-raising target, Mrs Tomlinson said: "We started three years ago by wanting to raise 500 and I'm glad Mike didn't set a bigger target.

"It's a relief to have got a million as I don't want to know what he'd have had me doing next.

"Virtually all the money has come from members of the public. At its peak we were receiving 2,500 letters a week."

Children benefit

The majority of the cash raised will go to helping ill children.

Mrs Tomlinson said: "I'm dying from cancer so it was always going to be part of the appeal. I've been a paediatric radiographer for 10 years.

"On a daily basis I see parents who have to deal with children who are seriously ill.

"I'm not sure I would cope in those circumstances and am full of admiration for the parents and children so wanted to do a little bit to help.

"There are so many worthwhile charities, we are just saddened we couldn't have done more."

A spokesman for Sparks, one of the charities to benefit from her fund-raising, said: "Everyone at Sparks - where Jane recently became our newest vice-president - is in awe of what she's achieved.

"Along the way she's become by far our biggest ever individual fundraiser.

"Jane's career as an NHS paediatric radiographer gives her a great rapport with Sparks' mission to fund groundbreaking medical research aimed at helping all babies to be born healthy and stay healthy.

"Thanks to Jane and the money she has raised, more and more babies will have the chance of surviving and thriving."

'Indomitable' Jane tops 1m mark
28 Jan 05 |  West Yorkshire
Jane in Ironman challenge triumph
07 Nov 04 |  West Yorkshire
New Ironman challenge faces Jane
06 Nov 04 |  West Yorkshire
Jane prepares for next challenge
26 Sep 04 |  West Yorkshire
Jane sets her sights on the Dales
30 Aug 04 |  North Yorkshire

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