A teacher who missed out on taking part in last year’s Great North Run to be with her mother when she passed away will take on next week’s race in memory of her loved one.
Ann Walsh had spent months training but when she received a call a few days before the run telling her that her mother Margaret, who was suffering from bowel cancer, had deteriorated, she dashed to be by her bedside.
The 54-year-old remained there for three days until her mother passed away.
Now the mother-of-three, from East Boldon, South Tyneside, is set to tackle this year’s Bupa Great North Run in aid of Cancer Research UK.
Mrs Walsh, who has seen numerous close family members suffer at the hands of cancer, said: “She had been in hospital for nine weeks and I received a call in the early hours of the Wednesday morning to say she was deteriorating.
“I stayed with her from 3am that day and didn’t leave her bedside until the Friday morning when she died.
“Sadly, my dad died in 2007 from lung cancer - it was just eight months after his death that my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer and three months later my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer but she’s now in remission.”
The PE teacher at Epinay School in Jarrow says this year’s run will be tough as it falls on the 12-month anniversary of her mother’s death but she’s determined to draw on that to keep her strength up throughout the 13.1 mile route from Newcastle to South Shields.
“It’s a difficult time because it’s coming up to that time of year when she was very poorly so it’s going to be hard,” said Mrs Walsh.
“September 14 this year is the Saturday which is when she died and September 15 is the actual run.
“It’s going to be quite difficult as I struggle along but I will certainly be thinking of her so it will be quite motivational for me.
“I know how proud she would have been and I know she would have wanted me to do it last year but I’d been up for three days and was sleep deprived.”
Mrs Walsh has set herself a target of completing the run in two hours 15 minutes, which is similar to what she achieved when she did the run at the age of 24.
But she is not one to shy away from a challenge which has been proven by her dedication in organising Cancer Research UK’s Relay For Life for the past seven years.
The event is an annual 22-hour fundraising event held at Monkton Stadium, which has raised a total of £250,000 during that time. Click the link to sponsor Ann https://www.justgiving.com/Ann-Walsh3/