Pendle man pays touching tribute to his 'inspiring' late wife who helped raise £61,000 for Pendleside Hospice in Burnley

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A Pendle man has paid a touching tribute to his late wife who died of bowel cancer.

Chris Leach, of Barrowford, has spoken of his wife Ruth’s bravery and kindness, having devoted herself to charitable initiatives, raising more than £61,000 for Pendleside Hospice, before she passed away in January.

In 2008, the Leach family tragically lost their daughter, Sarah, to breast cancer at the age of 30. Supported by her husband, family, and friends, Ruth channelled her grief into organising various charitable fundraisers in memory of Sarah, which included themed annual balls. Their first glitzy ball, titled Diamonds and Tiaras, set the stage by raising £8,500 for Pendleside.

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Pendle woman Ruth Leach, who died of bowel cancer in January, helped to raise more than £60,000 for Pendleside Hospice.Pendle woman Ruth Leach, who died of bowel cancer in January, helped to raise more than £60,000 for Pendleside Hospice.
Pendle woman Ruth Leach, who died of bowel cancer in January, helped to raise more than £60,000 for Pendleside Hospice.

Described as courageous and resilient, Sarah continued to embrace life's joys, from socialising with friends to conquering the Great Wall of China just months before her passing. Despite her own trials, Sarah expressed a heartfelt wish for her family to support Pendleside Hospice, ensuring that others facing similar challenges could access vital care and support.

Chris said: "Ruth was an inspiration to many. Her unwavering commitment to charitable causes and preserving Sarah's memory is truly inspiring."

He reveals the family's continued dedication, raising £520 for Pendleside Hospice at Ruth's funeral in February, and undertook the task of tallying the family's combined contributions over the past 16 years. On top of previous donations made prior to Sarah’s passing, the sum exceeds £61,000, highlighting the devotion and lasting impact of Ruth and Sarah's initiatives.

As Chris Leach continues to honour Ruth's memory and advocate for Pendleside Hospice, he invites others to join in celebrating the remarkable woman she was and the lasting influence she has made to others.