Four generations run for Alison

tis  Pictured from left are Sophie Zealand, Jennifer Zealand, Julie Thurley and Ruth Inman who are to run in the Race for Life.  (120514M5b)

tis Pictured from left are Sophie Zealand, Jennifer Zealand, Julie Thurley and Ruth Inman who are to run in the Race for Life. (120514M5b)

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FOUR generations of one family will complete the Race for Life this weekend in memory of a popular sister, daughter and aunt.

Alison Lewis was aged just 40 when she lost her battle with cancer in 2009, four years after she was first diagnosed.

tis Pictured from left are Ruth Inman, Sophie Zealand, Jennifer Zealand and Julie Thurley who are to run in the Race for Life. (120514M5a)

tis Pictured from left are Ruth Inman, Sophie Zealand, Jennifer Zealand and Julie Thurley who are to run in the Race for Life. (120514M5a)

During her treatment, she was keen to raise as much money as possible for cancer charities and completed the Race for Life herself in 2007 and 2008.

Her mum Ruth Inman, twin sister Julie Thurley and niece Sophie Zealand have been taking part in the 5km Cancer Research UK event ever since – and this year will be joined by Sophie’s six-year-old daughter Jennifer.

Sophie said: “Jennifer has wanted to do it for ages, but we had to say not until she was six.

“She’s so excited. I keep saying we can walk, we don’t have to run the whole way!

“She really understands about Alison – she has a picture of her by her bed. She was only three, but she knows what happened.”

Sophie, 26, will be collecting donations at the Katrina Hughes dance school, where she is a teacher, as well as raising money by doing the Race for Life.

Even now, three years after Alison died at Saint Michael’s Hospice, her family are touched by the number of people still running in her memory.

“We do it for her,” said Ruth, 67. “When she had cancer and was having treatment, her friends were there doing it for her too.”

As well as raising money, the Race for Life gives the family a chance to remember Alison with , which leads to mixed emotions on the day.

Julie, 43, who will be running with a photo of herself and her twin on her top, said: “We were very close.

“We used to ring each other up every night, to say goodnight. I miss her a lot.

“But I’m doing something she would want me to do.”

l The Race for Life takes place in Harrogate this Sunday, May 20, setting off from the Oatlands Drive area at 10am. For more information, visit raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org.