A FORMER Hartlepool woman returned to the town where she suffered the devastating double blow of losing two relatives to cancer within six weeks.
Brave Michelle Lilley tackled the three-mile Race for Life route in her home town because she was determined to remember both of her beloved relatives.
Michelle, 47, who now works as a fitness manager in Bromley in Kent, originally hails from Hartlepool and only recently moved to the south of England.
Back in March and April this year, she lost two Hartlepool relatives in a matter of weeks.
Her mum Jean Pearson, died aged 67 on March 17 after bravely fighting breast cancer. Then on April 24, Jean’s sister June Leak passed away aged 61 after suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Michelle had nothing but praise for Hartlepool & District Hospice which provided “first-class” care for her mum.
She said she was doing the race, partly to show her thanks for the work done by the hospice.
She said: “Today is very emotional for a lot of reasons. I am excited to run and I am proud to do this in their memory. I am also keen to say thank you to the hospice because of the way they looked after my mum in her final days. They were brilliant.”
Joining her on the run were fellow family members Stevie Doyle, 25, a hairdresser from the Owton Manor area of town; Jill Morrow, 46, a court worker from Rift House; Becky Leak, 30, a cleaner from Rift House; and Tyler Fleming, 26; a cleaner from Rift House.
They all planned to “get round the course in one piece” and raise around £500 in June and Jean’s memory.