Run­ning in mem­ory of Rosie

Halifax Courier - - This Week In Court - By Cassie Irv­ing

A de­ter­mind Hal­i­fax woman is tak­ing on her fifth Mor­risons Great North Run in mem­ory of her best friend who died from cer­vi­cal can­cer. Lau­ren Stephen­son, 27, was dev­as­tated when her child­hood friend, Rosie Thompson, died aged 22 af­ter a ninemonth bat­tle with the dis­ease in 2010.

But, de­ter­mined to keep her friend’s spirit alive, the cus­tomer com­plaints man­ager for Lloyd’s bank, tack­led her grief by putting her energy into mak­ing a last­ing legacy in Rosie’s name.

The pair be­came in­sep- arable af­ter meet­ing aged 11 at St Wilfrid’s Col­lege in South Shields and used to love stand­ing on the streets of their home town as teenagers cheer­ing on com­peti­tors in the Great North Run.

It was par­tic­u­larly poignant when Rosie passed away on the date of the race in 2010, Septem­ber 19.

Lau­ren took it as a sign that she should go on to take part in the event in her friend’s name, rais­ing vi­tal funds for Can­cer Re­search UK.

She said: “Los­ing Rosie has taught me two things. The first is that it’s vi­tal to keep your smear tests up to date, what­ever your age. The sec­ond is that if I just wal­low in grief and anger, then can­cer will have won. Can­cer will not win. I will go on run­ning, or what­ever my body will al­low me to do, to move to­wards a day when this aw­ful dis­ease is a thing of the past.”

In the four years she’s been fundrais­ing, Lau­ren has raised around £5000 for Can­cer Re­search UK, to do­nate visit https://www.just­giv­ing. com/run­ning­forRosie2015/

Lau­ren Stephen­son will run in the Great North Run.

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