We’ve done it – that was the hugely-proud declaration today by the family of the inspirational Jane Tomlinson.
Jane’s widower, Mike, and their children, Suzanne, Rebecca and Steven, set themselves a target of raising £5m for good causes back in 2009.
Now they have revealed that they have hit their target – and then some.
For the amount raised by the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and its partner charities has reached a staggering £7.6m.
But, typically, the Leeds family and their supporters are in no mood to rest on their laurels and are pledging to continue their efforts in memory of Jane, who died from cancer aged 43 in 2007.
Suzanne Tomlinson told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I think it’s just amazing that we’ve reached this figure in such a short space of time.
“It’s a huge amount that it is possible to do so much with. We can help so many people who need support, whether that’s dealing with an illness, a family member who is not well, or someone going through a bereavement.
“The goodwill and the kindness of people will never fail to amaze me.
“I don’t think any of the family thought we would be here, having raised over £7m.
“I think Mum would have been amazed and so pleased that all her hard work and determination has made such an impact in so many different ways.
“I think she would just have had such a big grin on her face if she knew – I think she would find it hard to believe.
“We owe such a big thank you to everyone who has helped over the years – we are just so appreciative of everything everyone has done.
“Here’s to £10m – watch this space!”
Jane, a hospital radiographer from Rothwell, won the hearts of millions worldwide as she personally raised £1.8m while fighting cancer.
She conquered a string of gruelling endurance challenges, including a 4,200-mile bike ride across America as well as numerous marathons and other running events.
Then, just three months before her death, Jane and her family staged the inaugural Leeds 10K race.
It attracted 8,000 entrants and proved to be the start of something really special.
Further events in Leeds and beyond were organised, each of them continuing to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and its partner charities as a lasting tribute to the much-missed mum.
A dedicated company called Run For All was set up to look after the races and this year it will be responsible for 10Ks in Leeds, York, Hull, Burnley and Lincoln, half marathons in Leeds and Sheffield and the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.
“It’s hugely important to all of us that the work Mum started is continuing today and we hope her legacy will carry on for many years to come,” said Rebecca Tomlinson.
“When we first set up the appeal we could never have imagined how successful it would become and just how much it would raise.
“We’d like to thank each and every person and organisation who has helped us along the way, whether that was through fundraising, through helping at the events, taking on individual challenges or supporting us in another way.”
The Jane Tomlinson Appeal is celebrating its magnificent seven million pound milestone with a series of special announcements this week.
Keep reading your YEP for full details of what the charity has in store.