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Death of father and sister of Shipley woman inspires very special thank-you to cancer care team
A mum whose dad and sister died within three months of each other will be walking in their memory in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for a leading cancer charity.
Helen Hodson, of Baildon , will be walking with her ten-year-old daughter Harriet and hundreds of other hikers for the Shipley Stride from Roberts Park, Saltaire , in an annual event organised by Macmillan Cancer Relief.
And her own eight-mile trek will have added significance after her dad Walter Unwin passed away last year, after developing a brain tumour, just three months before her sister Jill Senior succumbed to cancer in November.
Mrs Hodson, of Hinchcliffe Avenue, said: “I will find it very emotional when we complete the walks, but I know my dad and sister will be very proud of me. Harriet really wanted to do it to keep the memories of her grandfather and auntie alive.”
Mr Unwin, who Mrs Hodson described as “wonderful” and “a huge inspiration” was taken to hospital after suffering what was initially thought to be a stroke.
His condition deteriorated and doctors discovered he had a brain tumour. He died in August.
“It was desperately sad to see such a proud man in this situation,” said Mrs Hodson. “While our time and emotions were taken up with him, my eldest sister was diagnosed with terminal cancer, when a mass was discovered near her kidney.
“She wasn’t well enough to come over and see my dad in the last weeks of his life, but she was always at the end of a telephone to give me and my other sister emotional support.”
Macmillan Cancer Support nurses looked after her in her final days, answering her questions and offering emotional support, said Mrs Hodson. She said: “Jill really appreciated the Macmillan nurse, and built up a great relationship with her. She did a fantastic job and although Jill was taken away from us too soon, the support she had from Macmillan was great.”
To thank the carers, she will be taking part in the Shipley Stride on October 7.
Fundraisers are calling for people from across Bradford district to walk for someone they love by signing up to Miles for Macmillan, the charity’s walking programme.
In an appeal to walkers, Macmillan’s fundraising manager Hayley Cooke said: “You’ll be showing your support for local people affected by cancer, standing shoulder to shoulder with others who feel the same. Come and join a movement within your local community that really makes a real difference.”