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Sue thought about others, right until her last breath; Tributes paid to Slimming World inspiration.

Byline: Dave Robson Senior Reporter dave.robson@trinitymirror.com

INSPIRATIONAL - that's the word so many people are using to describe Slimming World consultant Sue Collin, who has lost her short battle with stomach cancer.

During more than 22 years of running classes, Sue helped thousands of Teessiders become healthier.

And her proud family says it was her relentlessly positive outlook on life which helped spur her class members on to achieve their goals.

Sue, of Acklam, Middlesbrough, successfully fought off breast cancer seven years ago.

But a scan on New Year's Eve 2015 - the day before she was flying to Tenerife for a holiday celebrating seven years clear - was to show she had stomach cancer.

But typically, Sue stayed upbeat until the end and even kept taking her Slimming World classes until just four weeks ago.

And as reported, last month Boro defender Ben Gibson - Sue was friends with his mum and aunt - officially started a 10k race in her honour to raise funds for James Cook University Hospital's chemotherapy ward. That fund now stands at more than PS6,000, including more than PS5,000 raised online.

Tragically, Sue died on June 13, aged 47 - just days after returning from a poignant trip to Lourdes with her parents Helen and John, to celebrate John's 70th birthday.

And gazing at the bouquets and cards received after Sue's death, husband David admitted: "I always knew she was loved but I can't move in the house for the cards and flowers.

She cared about people and made herself available for everyone.

"There have been so many lovely messages on the cards but one word keeps cropping up - inspirational. And that's what she was, to so many people."

David - known as "Collo" - recalls first seeing Sue when she worked in Nimmo's chemist's, but being too shy to approach her. But after he returned home from working in London, he saw Sue working behind the bar at The Coronation pub, then they met in The Madison nightclub - and the rest is history.

Together for 28 years and married for 22, onshore rigger Collo admits: "I punched well above my weight with Sue. And she had a smile which would light up a room."

Sue first went to a Slimming World class at St Chad's Church with mum Helen. Soon, she was asked if she'd be interested in running her own class - and that was the start of more than 22 years helping thousands of people to get slimmer.

Despite her illness, she was determined to keep her classes going, even travelling as far as Wetherby to run two sessions a day on Mondays. But it was closer to home, with her Thursday classes at St Clare's and St Francis' schools, where she felt truly at home, and where she'll be massively missed.

Helen, 69, said: "She did it because she loved helping people. Her classes got so big, but everyone loved them - a lot of them said they wouldn't have gone if it wasn't for Sue. If everyone had her personality and caring nature, the world would be a much better place."

Sue was also a hugely popular dinner nanny at St Clare's RC Primary School for many years. But above all else, she was a proud mum to the kids she doted on - Charlie, who is 21 today, Harry, 18, Katie-Leigh, 17, and Faye, 14.

And even towards the end, as she lay in hospital, she was thinking of others.

Helen said: "She took her mask off and said 'I feel sorry for you all, just waiting. Don't worry - I'm going to a better place and there'll be a big party.' "That was her - she thought about everyone, right until her last breath."

| Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JCUH-Chemo-Ward

CAPTION(S):

| | Above, Sue pictured front second right with Boro star Ben Gibson, who kicked off a 10k run in her honour just last month. Sue had previously led a charity event for breast cancer, right

| Tributes have been paid to 'inspirational' Sue Collin by friends and her family, above, including husband Dave, front right 170616MGACOLLIN_005 IAN MCINTYRE
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 20, 2016
Words:684
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