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Sisters ready to Race for Life in memory of much-loved godfather

By Herts & Essex Observer  |  Posted: May 14, 2013

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SISTERS Jo and Rachael Gill have kicked off their high heels and laced their trainers in a bid to raise £1,000 in Sunday's (May 18) Race for Life.

The Thorley pair are taking part in the 5km challenge in Harlow in memory of their godfather Alan Siddons. The 60-year-old, who lived in Much Hadham with wife Annabel and their children Emma and Matthew, battled Hodgkins lymphoma for five years before he passed away in 2007.

Musician Rachael, 18, who is a former pupil of Birchwood and the Bishop's Stortford High School, said: "It left a huge void in our family as every Christmas and every birthday was a Siddons and Gill occasion!

"Tragically, he never got to meet his grandchildren – Emma's children – as his first, Tallulah, was born six months after he passed away, she is now five.

"His second was born two years later in March 2009 and Jack is now three.

"This completely broke our hearts as Alan loved children and now that both Jack and Tallulah are old enough to understand how special their granddad was to us, we want to show them the amazing things that can be done with a bit of spirit and determination, and to make sure that Alan did not die in vain."

She admitted she and her 20-year-old sister were wary of Sunday's exertions: "We are definitely not runners, but we are excited at the prospect of being able to raise so much money for a cause so special to our family. Jo has already run the Race for Life once in 2006 whilst Alan was still here and battling his cancer.

"Our target is £1 000 this year. £1,000 enables up to 10 people to take part in clinical trials testing new drugs and other medical treatments that could potentially save millions in the future.

"Scarily now one in three of us will experience some form of cancer in our lives. To be able to help even one family with the money we raise who are going through the experience will be satisfying enough."

To support the Gill girls, visit www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/jogill2

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