A woman is taking on a charity run in memory of Sheffield United-supporting boyfriend – who died aged just 26.
Shelley Hopkinson is in training for the Run in the Park race at Graves Park, Norton, Sheffield, in honour of James Booth, who died of cancer last July.
Shelley will run along with family and friends to raise funds for the city’s Weston Park Cancer Hospital Charity as a thank you to the staff at the hospital who cared for her boyfriend, who lived in Ashgate, Chesterfield, in his final years of life.
The 25-year-old, of Hasland, Chesterfield said: “James received amazing support during his time at Weston Park Hospital and I know this can only continue with the help of the charity.
“He was always such an active and sporty person which is why I’ve chosen this event to represent him – as I am the complete opposite.”
James, a huge Sheffield United fan, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in January 2011.
He fought bravely for two and a half years and remained positive throughout his treatment in Weston Park Hospital’s dedicated teenage unit. He lost his battle in July.
Shelley, a sales assistant at Bodycare, hopes to raise £1,000 in James’ memory.
She has already held three car boot sales and installed a collection tin at her workplace.
She said: “This event will be a personal goal of mine to make James as proud of me as I was of him.
“Instead of meeting up for drinks now, me and my friends go for a run instead – it’s so much more productive.
“Most of us taking part knew James as a fighter and witnessed what a difficult journey he went through and that is what will motivate us all on the day.
“James never let cancer get in the way of him doing what he wanted to do, so by us all remaining positive and active we can somehow reflect his attitude.”
Helen Gentle, charity fundraising manager, said: “It’s truly inspiring to see how Shelley has dedicated her time to raising money for the cancer charity in memory of James.”
n Entries are open now for Run in the Park, where participants can take on either a 3km family fun run or a 10km race. To sign up, visit www.runinthepark.org.uk or ring 0114 2265370.