Family of courageous Burnley wife and mum who was part of cancer research project at Manchester's Christie Hospital vow to honour her legacy

The family of a courageous Burnley mum of two, who died before she could see the results of a research project she was part of at Manchester's Christie Hospital, have vowed to keep her legacy alive.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 12:30 pm

Simon Foster will walk the Pendle Way next month in a bid to raise money to support the scientists behind a research project at the Christie battling to make breakthroughs against cancer. He is taking on the challenge in memory of his wife Debs who died in June at the age of 44.

The couple's two children, Aaron, (nine) and seven-year-old Annabelle will be joining their dad on the 45 mile walk they aim to complete over four Sundays, starting on October 3rd. They have already raised a £1,400 after increasing their original target four times.

A great believer in the power of science, Debs had been proud to be part of the research project working towards finding tailormade treatment and chemotherapy for different types of cancer.

Simon and Debs Foster had been together for 23 years and married 19 years ago

Poorly since Christmas, Debs underwent a series of tests and biopsies until doctors discovered she had cancer of the bile duct, a particularly aggressive form of the disease.

A student at the former St Hilda's RC Girls' High School in Burnley, Debs, who worked as a childminder, died within 10 weeks of the diagnosis.

Simon said: "It has been an horrendous time for us all but the support of family and friends has been amazing and they, along with the children, have kept me going on the days when I haven't wanted to get out of bed.

"The walk will be especially challenging for the children but this was something we had always intended to do as a family but we never got round to it.

Simon and Debs Foster with their children Aaron and Annabelle. Simon and the children are planning to walk the Pendle Way in memory of Debs who died in June aged just 44

"One of the things that gave Debs comfort, despite the terrible situation, was that her samples were part of a trial with the Christie hospital and the knowledge that, even though it was too late for us, that she may play a part in helping to defeat this horrendous, cruel disease."

Married for 19 years the couple had been together for 23 after meeting at the Scarborough Sealife Centre. Simon, who is originally from the North East, was working there as a marine biologist and Debs was a student at Scarborough University where she was studying Marine Biology

The couple lived in Yorkshire for several years before moving back to Debs' hometown in 2011.

Simon is hoping more people will join him and the children, who attend Christ the King RC Primary School, in completing the walk. He added: "If anyone local fancies joining us, please come along, or better still, if you fancy spreading the word and getting sponsored, please do.

Simon and Debs Foster on their wedding day

"We would like to try and bring something positive out of our personal tragedy and raise lots of money for Cancer Research in Debs' memory to support the amazing scientists working hard to improve the outcomes for everyone touched by cancer."

If you would like to make a donation please click HERE

Simon has thanked family and friends for their support and help since the death of his wife, Debs, in June