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Friends run in memory of a tragic pal; GROUP CELEBRATE CANCER VICTIM'S LIFE BY TAKING PART IN FUNDRAISING EVENT.

Byline: By LAURA CAROE

FRIENDS of a cancer victim are celebrating her life by taking part in a run to raise money.

Louise Brown, of Washington, lost her fight against cancer two years ago.

But she did not let the disease stop her from raising thousands of pounds for the North of England Children's Cancer Research Unit.

Inspired by Louise's bravery, more than 20 of her friends have signed up for this year's Gregg's Children's Cancer Run, at Gosf orth Park on Sunday May 11.

Fun-loving Louise died after she lost her second battle with cancer.

Her childhood friend Elaine Bengston said: "I suspect the fact that we are all taking part in the run would amuse Louise greatly. We are considering doing it in fancy dress because we think she would have liked that.

"Louise was one of the funniest people you could meet. She could hold everyone's attention and would have the room in stitches.

"We are all approaching our 30th birthday this year so we decided to do something to celebrate what would have been Louise's birthday and to show our support to her family - mum Kath, dad Peter and brother Mark."

Louise was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of nine, and she lost a leg to the disease. But she refused to let the illness stop her living life to the full. She took part in Gregg's Children's Cancer Run several times as she was determined to give something back to the NECCR.

But the special needs teacher was later told she had liver cancer and there was little hope of a cure. She died aged 28, two years ago.

Her boyfriend, Chris Donoghue, 30, said: "She took part in the run on many occasions despite her disability. She was a very strong character who achieved her ambition to become a respected and well-loved special needs teacher at Gibside School. She was always smiling and making you feel positive about things, even when she was ill."

While Louise was undergoing painful treatment for liver cancer she still found time to nominate her mum Kath for the Chronicle's Mum of the Year competition.

Kath, 59, of Whitby Drive, Biddick, Washington, said she is very proud her daughter's friends have decided to take part. She said: "It is absolutely lovely. Louise had the best friends she could ever have had. It is such a great cause to raise money for and I'm very proud of them all."

Tony Gilroy, event organiser, said the number of applications is down on last year and he is urging people to take part as the funding raised is crucial for the children's cancer research unit. Entry costs pounds 10 or pounds 5 for under-16s. To register go to www.neccr.org.uk/neccr

CAPTION(S):

SUPPORT: Left to right, Chris Donoghue, Julia McCullough, Victoria Humphries, Dean Parlett, Hazel Wells, Elaine Bengston and Jill Baker; HONOUR: Brave Louise Brown with mum Kath
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 2, 2008
Words:491
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