Tuesday, September 04, 2007

In memorium: Jane Tomlinson (1964 - 2007)

Jane Tomlinson

It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that my loving wife Jane sadly passed away on Monday 3rd September in St Gemma's Hospice, Leeds. On behalf of our family I wish to thank the hospice staff, our friends, relatives and supporters, including our business and charity partners for their continued and generous support during the six years that Jane had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Thank you all so much for helping make this happen.

Mike Tomlinson


Jane was diagnosed with incurable, advanced metastatic breast cancer in August 2000. The disease spread was extensive and the prognosis was for her to survive six months. Over a seven year period, Jane fought through numerous courses of chemotherapy and various drug regimes despite also developing chronic heart disease.

During this period Jane, a mother of three from Leeds, took on a series of apparently impossible challenges, for someone suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy treatment, including a full Ironman (4km Swim, 180Km bike ride and full marathon – completed inside 17 hours), two half Ironmans, the London Marathon three times, the New York Marathon, three London Triathlons and three long distance bike rides – John O Groats to Lands End, Rome to Home and her final huge challenge a 6781.8 km ride across America.

Jane received numerous awards for her efforts including:
  • An MBE and subsequently a CBE by the Queen
  • The Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in 2002
  • Twice recognised at the Sportswoman of the Year Awards
  • A Great Briton Award
  • Voted the most Inspirational Woman in Britain in 2003
  • A Pride of Briton Award in 2005
One of Jane's motives was to show that people with a terminal prognosis can still lead an active and fruitful life and proclaimed "Death doesn't arrive with the prognosis." She proved beyond all doubt to be true to her word and with her uncompromising drive, unwavering determination and supreme bravery Jane provided true inspiration and genuine hope to a great many people.

Jane efforts also raised over £1,500,000 for charities including Macmillan Cancer Relief, SPARKS, Damon Runyon Cancer Research, Yorkshire Cancer Centre, Martin House Hospice, Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice and Hannah House.

Despite finally having to retire from competition at the end of 2006 Jane channeled her remaining energies into an event which is destined to provide a legacy for many years to come – The Leeds 10k 'Run For All.' The first event was held in June of this year and was a fantastic success attracting 8,000 participants, which is truly remarkable for a new event of this type. With plans to grow the event year on year this is destined to be one of Britain's major sporting spectacles and will help ensure Jane's Appeal will continue to raise substantial funds for Cancer and Children's Charities.

Tomlinson lived with breast cancer since 1990, but being told seven years ago that she had just six month to live inspired her to become a super-athlete. Pain only seemed to spur her on.

"No one was more surprised than us when she took out a gym membership in October 2000, a few weeks after the terminal diagnosis. It seemed, on the face of it, massively out of character," her family said in a statement.

"The weight of this burden has been immense on all of us, but primarily Jane. We hope that she is now at peace from the pain that has accompanied her for so long," her family said in a statement.


No comments: