Cash raised in memory of brave Burnley mum of two is her legacy towards research into killer disease

Family, friends and colleagues of a courageous Burnley dad have helped him to raise the magnificent sum of £8,000 in memory of his wife who died of cancer.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 3:45 pm

The community rallied round to support Simon Foster and his two children, Aaron (10) and seven-year-old Annabelle, to raise the money for Cancer Research UK.

The fund raising was carried out in honour of Simon's wife Debs, who died before she could see the results of a research project she was part of at the Christie Hospital in Manchester to make breakthroughs against cancer working towards finding tailormade treatment and chemotherapy for different types of the disease.

A great believer in the power of science, Debs, who died in June at the age of 44, was comforted by the fact, that, despite the terrible situation, her samples were part of a trial with the Christie hospital and the knowledge that, even though it was too late for her, that she may play a part in helping to defeat the terrible disease.

Simon with his wife Debs, who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year, and their two children, Aaron and Annabelle.

Poorly since Christmas, Debs underwent a series of tests and biopsies until doctors discovered she had cancer of the bile duct, a particularly aggressive form of the disease.

A student at the former St Hilda's RC Girls' High School in Burnley, Debs, who worked as a childminder, died within 10 weeks of the diagnosis. Simon and Debs had been together for 23 years and married 19 years ago.

This week marked what would have been Debs' 45th birthday so Simon wrote a letter to the charity detailing all the great work people had put into creating Debs' legacy, including a collection at her funeral that raised £995.

He said: "I couldn't' buy Debs a present so I wanted to summarise her legacy and the wonderful fund raising that has been done in her name.

Simon and his children with fellow walkers who joined them to walk the Pendle Way

"I hope it is put to good use and we will certainly continue to work for this wonderful cause in my wife's memory in the future.

One of the main events was when Simon and the children took on the challenge to walk the Pendle Way over four Sundays in October. Joined by several friends and relatives their endeavours raised £2,854.

A sponsored walkathon at Christ the King RC Primary School, where Aaron and Annabelle are pupils, brought in £1,400 and a collection by James Barnett, a leader of the beavers at St Stephens with Simon, raised £723.

Simon's sister Helen Boyes rode 300 miles on her bike to raise £525 and a sponsored walk of the Burnley Way by Simon's financial advisor and colleague, Andy Sutcliffe, made £740 for the Christie.

A sponsored toddle by the toddler group Debs used to attend at Rosehill Baptist Church raised £90. It was organised by Debs' friend Linda Sawley who is also an author who donated £50 from the sale of her latest novel to the legacy fund. Linda also ran a bake sale.

Gift aid totalled £652.25.