Tipton woman beats heart-breaking hills for charity

Sally Wright, who completed the gruelling Hartland Hartbreaker to raise money for Hospiscare last we

Sally Wright, who completed the gruelling Hartland Hartbreaker to raise money for Hospiscare last weekend. - Credit: Archant

A Tipton woman who beat cancer used the memory of her late mother-in-law to help her through a ‘heartbreaking’ 17-mile hill run and raise more than £2,000 for charity.

Sally Wright said lots of people dropped out of the gruelling ‘Hartland Hartbreaker’ race last Saturday in the intense heat.

But she said the support Hospiscare gave to Milena West in the final few days of her life made her determined to continue.

She was awarded ‘Hartbreaker of the Year’ for her run over the rugged peninsula in North Devon, and has so far raised £2,150.

Sally, who grew up in Tipton St John and attended The King’s School, returned to the village while recovering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last year.

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But her mother-in-law Milena, or Mami as she was known to her family, was diagnosed with lung cancer the same week Sally was told she had beaten her disease.

Milena died in Exeter’s hospice in January this year.

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“Hospiscare looked after Milena in the last six days of her life with compassion, selflessness, good humour and professionalism,” said Sally.

“They took care of the whole family too. We slept most nights in the hospice and were given everything we needed.”

She said she would never forget what they did for her, and wanted to run the Hartland Hartbreaker both in memory of Milena and to help the charity continue its work.

She trained hard for four months, and was determined to be as fit as the regular trail runners competing in the race, but said she still found it ‘extremely tough’, with a number of difficult hills on rough terrain coupled with the hot weather over the bank holiday weekend.

But quitting was not an option for Sally, who said: “I knew I had to do it. I thought of Milena and the incredible support we were given at the beginning of this year by Hospiscare.

“I stayed positive and determined to complete it, at whatever cost!”

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