Courageous fight with cancer inspires sister to act

CHARITY CHAMP ... Sarah Aspin is going to do 10 different charity events to mark the death of sister 10 years ago.
CHARITY CHAMP ... Sarah Aspin is going to do 10 different charity events to mark the death of sister 10 years ago.
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A WEARSIDE youth worker has set herself a gruelling charity challenge in honour of her courageous sister.

Mum-of-one Sarah Aspin, whose 19-year-old sister Amanda lost her battle with cancer almost a decade ago, is preparing to take on 10 fundraising tasks to mark the emotional anniversary.

Amanda Aspin, who died of cancer in February 2002. Her sister Sarah Aspin is raising money in her memory.

Amanda Aspin, who died of cancer in February 2002. Her sister Sarah Aspin is raising money in her memory.

It is hoped the feat will raise £4,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The 26-year-old, who is based in Sunderland, will climb a mountain, run a half-marathon, and even shave off her hair over the coming months.

“With the anniversary coming up I wanted to do something in Amanda’s memory and the whole family are very supportive of the idea,” she said. “Organising all of the different activities is going to be as demanding as actually doing them, but I am looking forward to it and I think Amanda would be proud, especially because we’re raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, who were a big help to Amanda at the time.”

Amanda was just 18 when a cancerous tumour developed in her pancreas in 2001.

She spent a lot of time at the teenage cancer unit at Newcastle’s RVI hospital and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

But the brave teen, who grew up in South Shields, refused to let her suffering stop her from getting married in 2002.

However, she tragically died just days later.

“It was a difficult time for Amanda,” said Sarah. “But she had a lot of courage and tried not to stop it from getting on with her life.

“The family and all of her friends have really missed her.”

Sarah will receive support on her fundraising mission from family and friends.

She said: “I won’t be doing any of the tasks on my own, there will always be someone with me.

“We’re looking to raise the profile by getting some t-shirts printed, and we’re hoping to find a big venue to hold a charity entertainment night next year. If anyone can help, please get in touch.

“With the support around me, I think £4,000 is achievable.”

Sarah will start the fundraising campaign in February by getting her head shaved.

“I’ve never done it before, but it doesn’t bother me,” she added. “If it gets cold I might have to wear a hat.”

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Twitter: @sunderlandecho

SARAH’S BIG YEAR FOR AMANDA

SARAH Aspin is a keen runner, but her 10 fundraising tasks in 2012 will put her all-round skills to the test.

In February, the 26-year-old will have her head shaven. She will also bake cakes with students at South Tyneside College, at St George’s Avenue, South Shields.

On May 13, Sarah will take on the five-mile Cancer Run in Newcastle.

In June, she will go to North Yorkshire for the Lyke Wake 40-mile walk, and will also take on a challenging rock-climb in the Lake District.

The summer will also see Sarah get on her bike for a coast-to-coast cycle ride from Whitehaven in Cumbria, to Sunderland, and also brave a skydive in Peterlee, County Durham.

Sarah will attempt to climb Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, in the Scottish Highlands, in August, before returning to the North East for the Great North Run in September.

She will complete her fund-raising efforts with a music-themed entertainment night in October, at a venue yet to be arranged.