Celebrating International Women’s Day!

On International Women’s Day, here are five women who inspire us every day.

On International Women’s Day, here are five women who inspire us every day.

Dr Kate Granger

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Kate, a doctor from West Yorkshire, captured the attention of people around the world by writing about her experiences as a cancer patient – and helping improve care for hundreds of thousands in the future.

Kate was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer when she was just 29. During her treatment she turned to writing, giving a no-holds-barred insight into her suffering on social media, as part of an attempt to raise awareness among fellow doctors of what it is like to be a patient.

She launched #hellomyname is, a social media campaign that struck a chord with healthcare workers and patients across the country.

She also set herself the target of raising £250,000 for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre Appeal – some of which she raised by pulling on her trainers for the Leeds 10K in 2015.

Kate sadly passed away in July 2016 – but not before changing the experience of hundreds of thousands of NHS patients, and smashing her fundraising target.

As her husband Chris put it: “Kate’s main passion in life was compassionate care for others, her passion was healthcare, and she always said the little things really matter.”

In a blogpost, Kate herself said: “I would so love to be remembered not as that poor young doctor who died of cancer before her time but as someone who inspired change towards truly person-centred healthcare for everyone.”


 Dawn Nisbet

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You might not know Dawn’s name, but you’ve probably seen her picture!

A photo of Dawn went viral earlier this year after she crossed the finish line of her local Parkrun.

She wasn’t celebrating being in first place – Dawn was 10 minutes behind the other runners – but simply taking part. The sheer elation on her face touched people’s hearts across the world.

Dawn has taken up running after 17 years of being inactive and among the challenges she’ll complete this year are Run For All’s Bury and Burnley 10Ks – close to Dawn’s Oldham home.

She has these words of encouragement for others:

“Stop letting what other people think of you stand in the way of what you want to do.”

On first seeing the photograph, taken by photographer Val Lovatt, Dawn’s initial thought was “how embarrassing, because … I’m a big girl, there are lots of jiggly bits in that picture”.

But now she thinks it captures “the sense of achievement” and “what I set out to do”.


Hannah Cockroft 

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One of GB’s most successful Paralympians, life could have turned out very differently for Hannah.

Hannah was born with cerebral palsy and suffered two cardiac arrests at birth that left her with a disability that affected her balance and mobility. She was also left with a deformity to her legs and feet and weakened hips. Doctors said she would never walk – but Hannah had other ideas! Thanks to the determination of her family and a team of therapists, she took her first steps aged three.

She would still need to use a wheelchair for much of her time – but she refused to let it hold her back and competed in wheelchair basketball and at seated discus.

It was during an event for the latter that she was discovered by Ian Thompson – husband of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson (Britain’s most successful ever Paralympian) who gave Hannah her first taste of wheelchair racing.

Her natural talent shone through, and coupled with her fighting spirit and determination, it wasn’t long before Hannah was on the path to sports stardom.

But there were still obstacles – her family needed to raise money for her first racing wheelchair and took part in the very first Leeds 10K to boost funds.

It took just three years to go from amateur to elite, and Hannah was soon breaking records – a trend she continues each year.

Hannah is now a patron of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and took part in the 10th anniversary Leeds 10K in 2016.


Gladys Tingle

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When she lines up for the City of Lincoln 10K, Gladys Tingle will have just celebrated her 86th birthday.

Gladys, of Horncastle, Lincolnshire, has become something of an institution on the local running scene and when she’s not taking part in organised events, she still puts in a five mile walk EVERY DAY.

Since turning 70-years-old, Gladys’s fundraising efforts in aid of her local air ambulance service have included completing two London Marathons and more than 10 Great North Runs, raising a total of over £15,000.

Her efforts were recognised in 2014 when she scooped the Volunteer of the Year Award at a ceremony in London to honour staff and supporters of air ambulance services across the country.

After taking part in the 2015 City of Lincoln 10K, she was invited onto the Paul O’Grady Show.

As her famous T-shirt says, Go Glad Go!


Jane Tomlinson

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The fundraiser and amateur athlete continues to inspire more than 10 years after completing her final challenge, a 4,200-mile ride across America.

Jane made headlines worldwide by undertaking a series of increasingly difficult physical challenges – despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.

Given just six months to live aged just 36, Jane defied all expectations to complete some of the world’s toughest challenges. She conquered the Florida Ironman, a ride across Europe and was the first person to run the London Marathon while undergoing chemotherapy.

Her final challenge – the ride across the USA in 2006 – raised enough money to establish the first Run For All event, the Leeds 10K, in 2007.

Ten years on, Run For All events are staged in major cities and towns across the North and the Midlands, with many tens of thousands of people taking part annually – and charities receiving a huge boost every year.

To date, through its events programme, the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and its partner charities have raised an amazing £8m.

With your support, we hope to make that millions more in years to come.

Who inspires you? We’d love to hear who are your heroes.

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