Honor the memory of Ashton’s nurse by completing three challenges for Rosemère

Three women take up the challenge in memory of a family member and friend

Three women are ready to honor the memory of someone very special to them by completing three fitness challenges for charity.


Vanessa Thornley was a nurse for nearly 20 years at Briarwood Medical Center in Ashton, and she regularly attended Avenham Park’s monthly 5k Your Way event to be more active and encourage those around her to participate as well.

Now daughter Michelle Livesey, from Longton, and friends Jackie Brunton, from Penwortham, and Jo Topping, from Longton, are making strides with a trio of fitness challenges for charity in Vanessa’s honour, who
sadly passed away in February from kidney cancer at the age of just 61.

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Michelle said: ‘Mum loved to walk and believed being active was important for a healthy life. She has encouraged her patients to participate in Avenham’s ‘5K Your Way’ to help manage long-term conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

“She was diagnosed with kidney cancer in January last year and underwent surgery in April to remove one of her kidneys, but doctors found other damage.

“Even though she had cancer, Mom continued to walk and participate in the ‘5KYour Way’ because she knew being in better shape helped the body cope better with treatment. She was desperate to return to work. She finished December’s ‘5K Your Way’ and did two half days back to work in January not realizing how bad she was.


Vanessa died days before her husband George’s 43rd wedding anniversary.

To start their tribute, Michelle, Jackie and Jo took part in Avenham Park’s ‘5K Your Way’ march.

They also signed up for the Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s Walk in the Dark on April 23, an 11-mile night walk along the A6 from Chorley and South Ribble District Hospital to Rosemere Cancer Center in the Royal Preston Hospital. They are then set to run the Manchester 10K on May 22.

The friends have set up an online fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jackie-brunton4 with all the money raised to be shared equally between Rosemere Cancer Foundation and St Catherine’s Hospice.

Michelle added: “These are charities close to Mum’s heart and we fundraise for them in a way I know she would approve of – outdoors, enjoying nature and being active. “

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