'Wonder woman' Justine takes on 10 for Tia challenge in memory of brave Padiham youngster who touched hearts across the globe

A teaching assistant is planning to complete a major challenge in memory of a Padiham schoolgirl whose brave battle against cancer touched the hearts of people across the world.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 3:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 5:00 pm
Teaching assistant Justine Taylor is staging a 10 for Tia challenge in memory of Padiham schoolgirl Tia Taggart
Teaching assistant Justine Taylor is staging a 10 for Tia challenge in memory of Padiham schoolgirl Tia Taggart

Justine Taylor plans to run 10k, swim 10 lengths and then cycle 10 miles... in under three hours!

Named 10 for Tia, the challenge celebrates each year that Tia lived.

Justine set herself a £200 target but she has already surpassed that as the fund now stands at the terrific amount of £1,394.

And as a lovely tribute to Tia, who was known for her beaming smile and cheeky and mischievous personality, Justine will be doing the challenge dressed as one of the youngster's favourite animals.. a pink unicorn!

At the request of Tia's family all the cash 49-year-old Justine raises will go to Derian House children's hospice as a thank you for the help they gave in caring for her.

Justine came up with the challenge with the help of former colleague Carole Carlile who said: "Tia was a courageous, witty, sparkling, inspirational little lady, who touched the hearts of many people and she will never be forgotten.

"Tia and I used to love giving Mrs Taylor dares or challenges and as Tia had her wrapped around her little finger she could never say no.

"She truly is a wonder woman. Tia and I would come up with lots of silly challenges/ videos for her to do to cheer Tia up when she was poorly. She really did go to all out to complete them!

"Mrs Taylor is one of the most thoughtful, caring and helpful people I know and she wanted to celebrate Tia's 10 years of life by challenging herself."

The challenge will be Tia's legacy along with the Jet Set Angels project launched by the school in 2016 when Tia first became ill. With the aim of helping to raise money to pay for a tank of petrol to take Tia for hospital appointments, children and staff started to make tiny little angels to sell to family and friends.

The project blossomed into a worldwide phenomena, with celebrities pictured with the around 30,000 angels who are now located at destinations across the world.

The project helped Tia and the school to raise money for the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and as a result she became a little celebrity who loved the limelight and the media attention.

The project has been taken on by Justine who Mrs Carlile described as a 'wonder woman.'

The challenge will take place at Padiham Leisure Centre on Saturday, May 11th starting at 9am.