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  Sunday, 8 December, 2002, 20:55 GMT
Jane's fighting spirit

Terminally-ill runner Jane Tomlinson has been honoured in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

Millions of television viewers watched the mother-of-three from Rothwell, Leeds, tearfully accept the Helen Rollason Award.

Marathon runner Jane Tomlinson with the Helen Rollason Award
Jane has helped raise 105,000 for charity

Jane, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 12 years ago, won the award for courage in the face of adversity, having completed the London Marathon, a triathlon and the Great North Run in 2002.

The 38-year-old suffered terrible pain in her neck, hips, back and shoulders during the tough endurance races.

There was no more popular winner at the awards show than Jane, who collected the award from athlete Paula Radcliffe.

Radcliffe, who went on to win the main Sports Personality Award, said Jane's achievements far outweighed her own.


She's a more deserving winner than anyone else here tonight
Paula Radcliffe on Jane Tomlinson

Jane said: "I would like to say thank you to all my family and friends who have supported me through the year."

After initally being diagnosed with breast cancer, Jane underwent a mastectomy but the cancer returned three years ago.

Then in 2000, she was told the cancer had spread to her lungs and bones and that it was incurable.

Doctors told Jane she had months to live, but she was determined to prove that anything is possible.

Earlier this year, she completed the Great North Run in Newcastle in one hour 51 minutes.

She was running with her husband Mike, who finished the 13-mile race four minutes behind her.

  Jane's achievements
April 2002: Runs the London Marathon
August 2002: Completes the London Triathlon
October 2002: Finishes the Great North Run

Jane has raised 105,000 for charity

In April, Jane ran the London Marathon, and in August's London Triathlon she crossed the line ahead of half the competitors.

She is the first terminally-ill competitor to finish all three events.

Jane only started running in May 2001 and trained six days a week in preparation for each race.

Her exploits earned her the title of Yorkshire Woman of the Year in recognition of her courage.

Since being diagnosed, Jane and her husband Mike have raised 105,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Jane is undergoing chemotherapy treatment at St James' Hospital in Leeds.

Cancer Research UK's chief executive, Sir Paul Nurse, said: "Jane Tomlinson is truly deserving of this prestigious award.

"The determination, courage and dignity she has shown while competing in events this year has been inspiring."

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 ON THIS STORY
Jane Tomlinson
"The London Marathon was a great achievement."
In-depth section on the big BBC awards

Radcliffe triumphs

Awards

Winners in profile

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