Thornton woman inspired by ill stepmum in fundraising challenges

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Emily Reader gets ready for her challenge Emily Reader gets ready for her challenge

The bravery of her cancer-stricken stepmum has inspired a Bradford fitness fan to take on an ambitious fundraising challenge.

Spurred on by Julia Reader's determination to fight her illness, Emily Reader has set herself four tough challenges in six months to raise money for the Cancer Support Bradford and Airedale charity.

She already has one task safely under her belt having completed the Bradford 10k run earlier this month. And she now faces the Bradford Triathlon, scaling the Three Yorkshire Peaks and tackling the Tough Mudder obstacle course in Skipton.

Emily, who is 28 and from Thornton, said: “My stepmum was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and the first people she spoke to afterwards were from the charity.

“She did get better but then the cancer returned and she is suffering at the moment.

"So this spurred me on. I thought ‘I won't just sit around, I will do something about it’.”

Emily, who works in IT, takes fitness seriously. She goes to the gym five or six nights a week, plays netball and has recently got into running. The Bradford event on March 16 was her first 10k and her time was 54.30.

She takes part in the triathlon on April 20, tackles the Three Peaks on June 6 and the Tough Mudder on August 2, a 12-mile obstacle course. “You run a bit, have to get over obstacles, go through mud,” said Emily. “It's pretty crazy.”

Emily started out wanting to raise £500 for the charity, but is already quite close to that amount. “So I'm aiming for £1,000,” she said. “I know how far the money goes.”

She said Mrs Reader is undergoing treatment at the moment and has also been ill with other conditions. “But she hasn't let it get her down,” said Emily. “She is one of the strongest people I know.”

Last year Mrs Reader, who lives in Cottingley, Bingley, was training to cycle around Sri Lanka to raise money but in the end could not take part due to the cancer.

“That shows what a fighter she is,” said Emily.

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