Jane Tomlinson dies

Inspirational cancer sufferer loses battle, aged 43

Cancer sufferer Jane Tomlinson has died, a year after completing her last fundraising challenge, a 4,200 mile bike ride across America.

Mrs Tomlinson raised £1.75 million for charity in a series of gruelling feats, defying doctors who told her she had just six months to live in 2000. The 43-year-old passed away St Gemma's Hospice, Leeds, at 9pm on Monday.

Her final, and toughest accomplishment, was the ride from San Francisco to New York in the United States last year. During her mammoth journey she endured temperatures of more than 100F and altitudes of more than 11,000ft.

After being told she was terminally ill Mrs Tomlinson dedicated the last seven years of her life to raising money for charity. Her cycling and running feats also included the London Triathlon in 2002 and the End to End challenge in 2003. She was the first terminally ill person to cycle the 1,060-mile ride from John O'Groats to Lands End, on a tandem bike with her brother, Luke Goward. She even stopped off for chemotherapy along the way.

The day after she completed the journey she took part in the 26 mile London Marathon.

In June 2003 she was granted an MBE. Two months later she achieved another first - becoming the first cancer patient not in remission and the first terminally ill person ever to have undertaken the Gatorade Half Iron Man UK Triathlon. The following June she took just 36 days to finish the 2,500-mile Rome to Home bike ride, before completing the Gatorade Half Ironman UK Triathlon again in August. In June this year she was granted a CBE to add to her previous honour.

Mrs Tomlinson leaves behind her husband, Mike, and children, Suzanne, 21, Rebecca, 19, and Steven, 10.

In a statement they said, "We are, as a family, heartbroken at this loss but we know this extends to all her family and friends. Jane has always said her family has been the greatest joy in life and we feel honoured to have been blessed with such a wonderful person.

"The weight of this burden has been immense on all of us, but primarily Jane. We hope that she is now at peace from the pain that has accompanied her for so long."

© BikeRadar 2007

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