Sunderland family mark gran’s death by raising funds to fight disease which killed her

Fundraisers taking part in Joyce's Walk to raise funds for the British Lung Foundation in memory of Joyce Christian, inset, who died last year. Joyce's husband Raymond, centre, and Sunderland Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran get the walk under way at Seaburn.
Fundraisers taking part in Joyce's Walk to raise funds for the British Lung Foundation in memory of Joyce Christian, inset, who died last year. Joyce's husband Raymond, centre, and Sunderland Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran get the walk under way at Seaburn.
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A family marked the anniversary of a grandmother’s death by raising funds to fight the illness which claimed her life.

Joyce Christian, from Marley Pots, died last year aged 60, after suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Joyce Christian, pictured in July 2014.

Joyce Christian, pictured in July 2014.

Now, her loved ones have remembered the mum-of-seven by taking on an 11-mile walk in her name, to raise funds for the British Lung Foundation.

The event, which saw the group head from Seaburn to The Waters Edge pub in South Shields and back, has raised £1,800 for the charity.

The family took part in the Big Walk last year and decided to host their own event this year.

Joyce, who was also grandmother of 15 and a great-grandmother of two, was told to give up smoking when she was diagnosed six years ago, but continued for another two.

The condition meant she was given oxygen as she struggled to breathe.

Joyce’s husband Raymond, 64, a retired electrician, packed in his cigarette habit when Joyce discovered she had the illness, and has since taken up cycling and other forms of exercise.

He said: “I think Joyce was the type that would have liked that all the family came together and not moping, and she would have wanted to raise money.”

Everyone who took part in the event was given a medal to mark their achievement. The walk caused some concern as Joyce’s daughter Audrey, 38, who also suffers from COPD, became ill during the route, while one of the walkers was heavily pregnant and felt unwell.

In addition to Raymond and Audrey, Joyce also left Gary, 43, Lillian, 42, David, 36, Wayne, 31, Emma, 30, and Laura, 22.

They have sent their thanks to Morrisons and Sainbury’s who helped the walk with donations.

Smoking is the main cause of COPD, with those who have long-term severe asthma also among those to develop it.

More details of the illness, symptoms, treatment and the work of the British Lung Foundation are available via www.blf.org.uk.