Pals ‘Did it for Dawn’ in memory of their amazing friend
Friends of an ‘inspirational’ young woman who died at the age of just 34 came together for a two-hour gruelling sponsored workout in her memory.
The Doing it for Dawn event was held in the grounds of St Catherine’s Hospice, where she was cared for before her death last month.
She had battled and survived breast cancer more than five years earlier, but the disease returned in 2012. It had spread to her lungs, spine, bones and liver and was devastatingly diagnosed as incurable.
Dawn, from Ashton, was referred to St Catherine’s Hospice where she was cared on the in-patient unit. She was keen to do something to ‘give back’ for the treatment and support she received, so close friends Helen Freeman and Lucy Willis decided to organise a fundraising event.
They opted for a ‘combat mash-up’ gruelling two-hour workout – led by Helen’s colleague and friend Charlotte Selby who is a personal trainer.
The venue was chosen as the car park at the hospice so that Dawn could be part of the event – and watch her friends and family be put through their paces in the name of a good cause!
Heartbreakingly, Dawn died just three weeks before – although Helen is convinced she was there in spirit with them on the day.
“There was just such an incredible atmosphere,” she said.
“Yes, it was extremely emotional – a lot of tears were shed, but you could just feel the love for Dawn in the air. There were about 50 of us taking part – when you looked out across them, all wearing their special Doing it for Dawn T-shirts with her beautiful face smiling out, I just thought ‘wow’. It was a very special day, in honour of a very, very special person.”
The event raised around £3,000 on the day through entry fees and raffle tickets, and they are expecting the total to come in at more than £7,000 once sponsorship has been collected.
The proceeds will help the hospice provide its specialised care to other families affected by life-shortening conditions in the Central Lancashire area.
Helen said: “Dawn loved St Catherine’s – she loved the place, the people and the care she got. She wanted to pay something back for all they’d done for her, and I hope the event made her proud.
“But we’re not stopping there. Dawn was such an inspirational person – who was so positive and always had a smile, no matter what she was going through – that we’re determined to carry on and do lots more in her memory.
“We miss her so much – her voice, her text messages, the things we’d talk about together. Knowing that we’re helping others experiencing such tough times get the support they need is some comfort at a very difficult time.”
Emma Jacovelli, fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We are so grateful to Dawn’s friends and family for organising this amazing event in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice.
“The funds raised in Dawn’s memory will help others affected by life-shortening illnesses experience the care of St Catherine’s and the difference it can make.”
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