Fiance’s race to remember brave Leeds teacher

Mike Reid
Mike Reid
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The fiance of a woman who lost her battle with a brain tumour months after completing a string of charity runs followed in her footsteps as a tribute to her.

Mike Reid took part in the World Coal Carrying Championship in Gawthorpe, near Dewsbury, in memory of Sarah Wilshaw.

He dressed as Tigger, a favourite character of hers, after also donning the outfit to propose in December just days before she died.

Sarah had been fighting a brain tumour for over eight years, but deteriorated last year and died at Wakefield Hospice on December 11.

Mike paid tribute to the 29-year-old, who carried out a series of challenges for Cancer Research UK despite having had gruelling treatment.

He said he was incredibly proud: “There’s hundreds of people who, if they achieved in their lifetime what she did in her short life, it would be something.

“She did a tremendous job.”

Sarah first became ill aged 20, when she developed problems with her vision and pain.

She underwent surgery for the brain tumour at Leeds General Infirmary and then had radiotherapy – including on her 21st birthday – as well as chemotherapy.

Following that she was well until 2011 when she had another operation and treatment then in 2012 needed further surgery.

The PE teacher at Leeds Grammar School had a fourth operation three weeks before taking part in the coal race last year.

She then did Leeds Half Marathon and a Race for Life event, but was unable to do a second Race for Life as she’d hoped.

A fifth brain operation left her paralysed down one side and after hospital treatment, she was cared for at Wakefield Hospice.

Mike, also a teacher, did the coal race with her last year and wanted to do it again for her.

“I just thought I would do it again,” he said. “The Tigger outfit was what I was wearing when I proposed – I won’t wear it again.”

Sarah Wilshaw took on a list of challenges that many healthy people would have blanched at.

But she was determined not to let the fact she was seriously ill stop her.

Sarah, originally from Ossett, told the Yorkshire Evening Post last year: “People say I’m brave, I say I have no choice.”

She also continued her involvement with the Scouts, and was awarded the Chief Scout’s Medal of Meritorious Conduct. It will be presented to her fiance and family at Windsor Castle.

As the teacher had a collection of Tigger soft toys, mourners at her funeral were given one.

Now family and friends have set up a Facebook page, Tiggers on Tour, to show her beloved toys on adventures around the world.

Skin specialist Dr Angela Goyal.

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