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Haslingden doctor to run half marathon in memory of her sister
7:00pm Saturday 10th August 2013 in News
A DOCTOR is planning to run a half marathon in memory of her older sister.
Jackie Spiby, 59, is doing the Great North Run in September for Rossendale Hospice after losing her sister Liz MacAllister to ovarian cancer earlier this year.
Liz was diagnosed as terminally ill three days before she turned 60 and four days before she was due to retire from her job as a community physiotherapist in Haslingden.
Liz, originally from Melton Mowbray, and her husband Stuart lived in Haslingden for 40 years with their two children Helen and Ian.
Dr Spiby said: “Liz loved her job. She stood no nonsense and believed in putting her patients before the bureaucracy.”
At the time Liz was diagnosed, Stuart was already being supported by Rossendale Hospice through the chemotherapy he was receiving for prostate cancer. Stuart died a year after Liz was diagnosed.
Dr Spiby, who lives in London, said: “Liz hated being ill, but the support of the hospice and the group of fellow sufferers that she became friendly with helped her through the three years that she was unwell.”
Dr Spiby made the decision to do the run when she visited the hospice to donate Liz’s wigs for sufferers who might not be able to afford them.
She said: “Training is going well. It’s tougher than I expected, I sometimes forget I’m not so young these days.
“But I will make it for Liz and all those people, like Liz and Stuart, who don’t get to enjoy their retirement.
“I’m running for Rossendale Hospice because I can.”
Rossendale Hospice provides free holistic and palliative care for people with cancer and other degenerative illnesses.
Sam Morris, a spokeswoman for the hospice, said: “We rely heavily on the support and generosity of people like Jackie to enable us to continue to deliver free care to patients and their families.
“The Great North Run is no easy feat and we would like to thank Jackie for her wonderful contribution and wish her the very best of luck.”
Dr Spiby has already raised £650 and is hoping to raise more in the run up to the challenge in September.
Anyone wishing to support can do so by visiting www.mydonate.bt.com and searching for Jackie Spiby.
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