Two friends from Todmorden have teamed-up to do a sponsored run in memory of Lucy Atherton, who tragically died of a heart attack aged 19.
Lucy lived in Todmorden and was a first year medical student at the University of Manchester, with ambitions to become a doctor.
James Gibson, 19, who did the 14.3 mile run from the Morrison’s store in Todmorden to the Morrison’s in Elland with his friend Nicola Kirby, had known Lucy, who died in August, since they were at Castle Hill Primary School.
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“Lucy was a remarkable young woman with her whole life ahead of her,” said James.
“She was kind, considerate and the best friend anyone could ask for. Lucy was the life and soul of the party and I’m sure coming to terms with her loss is one of the hardest things many of us has had to do, and I’m sure for many the reality is still raw.
“I wanted to honour Lucy’s memory, and with Lucy volunteering at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, I felt it only right to direct our fundraising towards this charity.
“We would like to thank everyone who donated to this amazing cause, helping to raise £4,038.72.
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“The money everyone raised will contribute to new equipment for the hospital whilst serving as a permanent tribute to Lucy’s generosity.
“No one ever had a wrong word to say about Lucy, and she will be dearly missed. Forever and always, Doctor Lucy Atherton.”
The pair did the run on September 21 in torrential downpours, running along the canal bank.
Meeting them at stages along the way were James’ family, making sure both Nicola and he were fine, providing drinks and moral support.
Nicola said: “Whilst I didn’t personally know Lucy, I was stricken by the news of her death and felt deeply for the family.
“Losing a child must be every parent’s worst nightmare and I cannot begin to imagine their heartbreak in seeing that nightmare realised.
“Hearing of my good friend James’ intentions to fundraise, and seeing his passion for the cause, I was eager to assist in any way I could in raising money for this amazing cause.
“It is clear that everyone who knew Lucy loved her, and she will be dearly missed by all.”