Teenager Taylor did Hartlepool Race for Life after nana pulled out

When medics advised Linda Allen the night before Hartlepool's Race For Life event that she was not well enough to take part, she was naturally very disappointed.

Tuesday, 12th July 2016, 11:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th July 2016, 12:27 pm
Linda, centre, with granddaughter Taylor Jane behind and family from left son Paul Allen, granddaughters Sian and Tiegan, daughter-in-law Jacqui and eldest son Andrew Allen.

Linda, who has cancer, was due to be pushed around the seafront course in her wheelchair by her granddaughter Taylor Jane Allen.

But Taylor, 15, quickly volunteered to run the 5k race herself, and was cheered on by Linda, 59, family and friends finishing seventh despite no training.

Linda with friends and the cheque for £60 raised for Cancer Research.

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Money raised in sponsorship by Linda and a collection held by friends, family and ex-colleagues has reached £600, with the final amount expected to be around £1,000.

Jacqui Allen, Linda’s daughter-in-law, said: “Linda was concerned at not being able to participate because people had donated money and sponsored her.

“In her words she felt a fraud she wasn’t able to do it. That was when Taylor said ‘I’ll do it for you Nana’, and it was agreed that she would run with Linda’s number on.

“She was quite taken aback that Taylor offered to do it, and is very grateful for the amount of money everyone has raised.”

Linda with friends and the cheque for £60 raised for Cancer Research.

Linda, of Percy Street, Hartlepool, particularly wanted to take part in Race for Life as she lost her husband to cancer just last year.

Jacqui added: “Emotionally, it was really tough for her because Linda lost her husband to cancer in November.

“Taylor really pushed herself to the limit and did remarkably well.

“Linda was there to see her cross the finishing line.”

A bunch of former workmates who worked with Linda in the kitchens at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and now at North Tees Hospital, in Stockton, held a collection.

Friend Paula Cannon said: “Everybody donated, including a lot of hospital staff and people who don’t even know her.

“We were all down there on the race day. It was lovely and very emotional.”

Paula said they all intend to take part in next year’s Race For Life in Linda’s name.

They marked their fundraising efforts with a girls’ night at Linda’s home on Friday when they reminisced about old times.

Linda worked at Hartlepool hospital for around 30 years and later worked as a hostess on the railways before being forced to give up after she being diagnosed with cancer around two years ago.

This year’s Race For Life raised thousands of pounds for cancer research.