Extra poignancy was added to a North Lakes woman’s round-the-clock efforts to raise money for Blood Cancer UK when she learned during the marathon challenge that her stepfather had died of lymphoma.
Debbie Jackman, 48, of Penruddock, jogged a mile every hour as part of a Seize The Day challenge which also saw her swim in Ullswater, complete household chores, crochet and bake flapjack and make jam, which she sold at the top of her drive.
It was as she watched the sunrise from the top of Little Mell Fell that the news came through that her stepfather, Geoff Coles, 74, had died in hospital of cancer.
It was a double blow for Debbie as her father, Bob Downes, died of leukaemia 11 years ago aged 64.
“It was quite an emotional day,” said Debbie, a self-employed fitness instructor.
“When I first set the challenge my stepfather was in hospital but he passed away on Saturday and I got the message while watching the sunrise on Little Mell Fell.”
Undeterred, Debbie continued with her challenge and ran 24 miles and completed 60,000 steps and raised more than £1,000 for Blood Cancer UK which funds research and helps the families of those affected by the disease.
“I knew to run every hour would be difficult as it usually takes me a mile to warm up, plus the lack of sleep was a concern,” said Debbie, who was supported by her husband, Dylan Jackman, her children Norman, 14, and George, 12, both pupils at Keswick School, and her friend Kath Ridley.
“But I am pleased to say I managed it, plus I saw the sun rise from the top of Little Mell Fell, sold jams from my drive, swam in Ullswater and watched the sun set at Eycott Hill.
“As the family watched the sun set we took a bit of time to think of those no longer with us. When we last saw them. What comes to mind when we think of them. No-one lives forever.
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
People can donate direct to Blood Cancer UK or get in touch with Debbie for the donation link at firstname.lastname@example.org