Daughter's marathon effort in honour of her inspirational mum

The daughter of a devoted and well loved teacher, who died at the age of 49, has raised over £4,000 for research into the cancer that claimed her mum's life.

Monday, 10th April 2017, 3:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:59 pm
Chloe Giltrow-Shaw (left ) with her friends, Emma Little and Holly and Jennifer Male, after completing the Paris Marathon for pancreatic cancer in memory of Chloe's mum, Paula Helm.

Chloe Giltrow-Shaw completed the Paris Marathon at the weekend in memory of her mum, Mrs Paula Helm who taught at Burnley's St Mary's RC Primary School for almost 30 years.

She died of pancreatic cancer three years ago aged just 49, leaving her loving family and many friends and work colleagues devastated.

It was not a cancer that Chloe (25) knew much about and when she discovered that only three per cent of sufferers survive, the same figure as 40 years ago, she was determined to do something about it.

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Chloe said: "Pancreatic cancer is in desperate need of funding and research. Around 95% of people die from it and unfortunately my mum was diagnosed too late and was one of the 95 %.

"That is what we want to change and hopefully with donations and awareness we will one day."

The statistics for pancreatic cancer are more shocking when compared with figures for breast cancer that show 40 years ago 46% of women diagnosed survived five years or more but that figure has now shot up to 80 %.

Chloe, a London University graduate who now works in management for J D Sports Group in Bury, completed the French marathon in five hours in blistering heat with three of her pals from uni, Emma Little and sisters Holly and Jennifer Male.

Among those cheering Chloe on was her boyfriend, Tom Cole.

Chloe said: "Tom was a great support, he followed us round the route and spotted me four times.

"The atmosphere was incredible, so many supporters cheering and clapping. There were bands playing too every few miles which was fun.

"The biggest challenge was the heat, it was 25 degrees and no clouds, so we were in the sun for most of the time.

"Around 18-22 miles was the hardest, every mile seemed like the longest mile and the finish still felt a long way away. But we all completed and we're so happy even if we are sore."

Chloe, who lives in Bacup with her stepdad, Graham, admits she is not a natural runner so her achievement in completing the Paris Marathon is extra special.

But she and her pals spent months training for the event, inspired by the memory of Chloe's mum who was such a major influence in so many young lives.

Chloe added: "My mum was incredibly generous, kind, and ambitious, not only for herself but for her pupils at school where she was the life and soul, dedicating her life to caring for, loving and encouraging children and for my brother Laurence and I.

"Without her I wouldn't be where I am now. Most of all, my mum was always about giving more than she got out of something, and that’s why we'd like to give back in memory of her."

Paula spent the majority of her career at St Mary's working her way up to becoming assistant headteacher and her work as RE co-ordinator attracted praise from Ofsted inspectors.

A former pupil of St Mary's and also the former St Hilda's RC Girls School and St Theodore's sixth form, she ran the school choir for many years and took pupils to perform in concerts and competitions, and in care homes.

Anyone who would like to make a donation is asked to visit https://www.justgiving.com/Paris-for-Paula.