Shropshire family ready to run in memory of mum Deborah after death aged 50

A family from Shropshire are honouring their late mother and sister by taking part in a Race for Life event to raise funds for charity.

Vicky, Evie, Sophie and Seth Baillie
Vicky, Evie, Sophie and Seth Baillie

Deborah Bowness, aged 50, died from breast cancer on August 26 after a 15-month-long battle following her diagnosis in June last year.

Now the family, from Whitchurch, will take on the running challenge on Sunday to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Vicky, Deborah's younger sister, said: "Deborah was the best big sister, mum and aunt we could have wished for. She was so strong and courageous. Even when she was really sick, she was thinking of others.

"I was especially shocked to see how much Cancer Research UK had been affected during Covid-19 so we will be racing on Sunday with Deborah’s name on our backs. I would encourage anyone who can to join in."

The 38-year-old will be running with her children Sophie, aged 12, Evie, aged 10 and Seth, aged eight, alongside Deborah's daughter Ella, aged 16 at Telford Town Park.

Deborah Bowness who died in August after a 15-month battle with cancer

Deborah was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 1 last year which came as a "huge shock" to the family who had been expecting hospital test results to come back positive for gall stones.

"She’d been having pain in her liver so she was referred to hospital for suspected gall stones,” Vicky said.

"Myself, my mum and my younger sister have all had them so we were joking that it was her turn.

"She had several scans and found out she actually had advanced breast cancer that had spread to her liver and lungs. My mum called me to give me the news and I fell to the ground in shock. To hear that she wasn’t going to get better was gut wrenching."

Deborah continued working as a sales controller for an accountancy firm whilst undergoing six months of chemotherapy treatment, but by autumn last year, the cancer had spread to her spine.

Ella, Deborah and Gary Bowness

She underwent a further six sessions of chemotherapy between February and May, during which time Deborah's dad was diagnosed with skin cancer.

"Dad had a malignant mole on his back 20 years ago and, while Deborah was going through chemotherapy, he found out the melanoma had come back,” said Vicky.

“They were having treatment at the same time which was tough. I know dad felt guilty that his cancer was treatable.”

In July this year, Deborah was re-admitted to hospital after the cancer spread to her brain, but she was able to spend her last days at home.

“Even in the last stages of her illness she was thinking of others,” added Vicky.

“She was buying little gifts for people and even organised little surprises for her husband’s 50th a few days after she died."

Money raised through the Race for Life events funds research to help beat 200 types of cancer – including breast cancer, bowel cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer, brain cancer, children’s cancers and leukaemia.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, more than 400 races had to be cancelled last year, but are now returning with socially distanced measures in place to keep people safe.

The 10k Race for Life event will take place at Telford Town Park from 11.30am whilst the 5k event will be held on Sunday from 12.15pm.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News