Page last updated at 10:19 GMT, Tuesday, 4 September 2007 11:19 UK

Brave Jane 'worthy of accolades'

Jane Tomlinson reaches Staten Island, New York
Jane Tomlinson cycled to New York as part of her fundraising efforts

Jane Tomlinson's co-riders on her epic 4,200 mile bike rider across America said she was an "ordinary woman who did amazing things".

Ryan Bowd and Martyn Hollingworth said "inspirational" was a word often used inappropriately, but Jane Tomlinson was worthy of this accolade.

The two said she was a person who did remarkable things whilst suffering a pain that few can imagine.

"She exemplified qualities [that] most people only aspire to," they said.

"Inspirational and remarkable are words that are often batted around easily in our modern times of pseudo-celebrity and reality television hero manufacturing.

Very occasionally we are touched by an exceptional person
Mark Harris, Leeds council leader

"Most people who we use these words to describe are often not worthy or live up completely to the carefully honed and projected images of themselves. This was not so in Jane Tomlinson's case."

The men said the charity fundraiser should be remembered as an ordinary woman, a loving wife to her husband Mike.

And they added she was "a caring mother to her children Suzanne, Rebecca and Steven, a sister, a daughter, a colleague to those who worked with her in the radiology unit, a good friend to people such as Martyn and I and countless others."

A spokesman for children's medical research charity Sparks said everyone at the organisation was devastated.

He said: "It is a very, very sad day, everyone is deeply upset. She was more than just a supporter to Sparks she was the vice-president and she was our biggest individual fundraiser."

'Exceptional person'

A book of condolence for people to sign in her memory has been placed at the Civic Hall.

Council leader, Councillor Mark Harris said: "Very occasionally we are touched by an exceptional person. Somebody who in any other circumstances would be totally overwhelmed by the challenges they face. Jane Tomlinson was that sort of person.

"Words like 'inspiration' and 'brave' don't actually do justice to her life.

"Leeds is a better place for her and her family having come here and I cannot imagine that the city will ever forget about her."



SEE ALSO
Radcliffe tribute for Tomlinson
04 Sep 07 |  Athletics
Jane ends fund-raising on a high
01 Sep 06 |  West Yorkshire
Looking forward to a Leeds return
01 Sep 06 |  West Yorkshire
Jane 'may not reach the finish'
30 Aug 06 |  West Yorkshire
Blair's praise for cyclist Jane
28 Aug 06 |  West Yorkshire
Jane 'hanging on by fingernails'
13 Aug 06 |  West Yorkshire
Jane's fighting spirit
08 Dec 02 |  Sports Personality 2002

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