Jane Tomlinson

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Jane Tomlinson

Jane Tomlinson.jpg
Jane Emily Goward

(1964-02-21)21 February 1964
Died3 September 2007(2007-09-03) (aged 43)
Known forCharity campaigner
Spouse(s)Mike Tomlinson

Jane Emily Tomlinson, CBE (née Goward; 21 February 1964[1] – 3 September 2007) was an amateur English athlete who raised £1.85 million for charity by completing a series of athletic challenges, despite suffering from terminal cancer.[2]

Having had treatment for breast cancer in 1991, aged 26; the disease returned in 2000 throughout her body.[3] During the next six years, Tomlinson completed the London Marathon three times, the London Triathlon twice, the New York Marathon once and cycled across Europe and the United States.[3] Jane Tomlinson died in 2007, aged 43.

Early life[edit]

Jane Emily Goward was born in Wakefield[4] in Yorkshire in 1964, the sixth of ten children of a dentist.[3][5] When she was aged 11, the family emigrated to Australia but returned after three years.[3] In 1990, Tomlinson applied to study Mathematics at the University of Leeds. However, when she found a lump in her breast and had a lumpectomy, she enrolled instead at Leeds General Infirmary and trained as a radiographer.[3] By this time, she had married Mike Tomlinson and had two daughters, Suzanne and Rebecca.[6] They later had a son, Steven.[3][7] Qualifying in 1993, Tomlinson later studied to postgraduate level and became a paediatric radiographer.[3] Three years after having a lumpectomy the cancer returned and she had a second mastectomy, and two rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.[3] In 2000, Jane Tomlinson was told that the cancer had spread to her bones and lungs, and was given about 12 months to live.[3][5]

Charity fundraising[edit]

Jane raised over £1.85 million through a series of gruelling challenges including several long-distance bike rides, marathons, triathlons and a full Ironman triathlon. Since her death the charity that she founded has announced a new fundraising target of £5 million. As of February 2015 £7.6 million has been raised, and in September 2017 the campaign announced fundraising had surpassed £10m.[8]

Last years[edit]

In July and August 2006, Tomlinson spent nine weeks cycling 3,800 miles across the United States, raising £250,000.[5][9] This was her final athletic challenge.[10]

Having published The Luxury of Time in 2005, she released the second volume of her memoirs You Can't Take It With You in 2006.[3] In January 2007, Mike and Jane Tomlinson launched Jane Tomlinson's Run For All, a 10 km charity run that took place in June that year.[11] Having had four courses of chemotherapy, she developed chronic heart disease.[9] Having been elevated to a CBE in June 2007, Jane Tomlinson died in St Gemma's Hospice, Leeds, West Yorkshire less than three months later on 3 September.[7][9] Her Requiem Mass, which was conducted by Arthur Roche, Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds, was held at the Roman Catholic Leeds Cathedral on 14 September 2007.[6] Later that day she was cremated in a private family ceremony.[12] On 15 November 2007 Tomlinson's ten-year-old son, Steven, collected her CBE from Charles, Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.[13]


  1. ^ "Birth details at freebmd.org.uk". freebmd.org.uk. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Jane Tomlinson". BBC. 4 September 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Obituary – Jane Tomlinson". London: The Daily Telegraph. 6 September 2007.
  4. ^ Foster, Jill (5 September 2007). "Jane Tomlinson: An inspiration to the end". Daily Mail. London.
  5. ^ a b c "Obituary – Jane Tomlinson". London: The Times. 5 September 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Husband speaks of Jane heartbreak". BBC. 14 September 2007.
  7. ^ a b "Jane Tomlinson loses cancer fight". BBC. 4 September 2007.
  8. ^ "Legacy of inspiration Jane Tomlinson CBE breaks £10m mark". Jane Tomlinson's Run For All. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Tomlinson honoured with CBE". BBC. 15 June 2007.
  10. ^ "Jane ends fund-raising on a high". BBC. 1 September 2006.
  11. ^ "Thousands join in Tomlinson run". BBC. 24 June 2007.
  12. ^ Nugent, Helen (15 September 2007). "1,000 gather to remember fundraiser Jane". London: The Times.
  13. ^ "Tomlinson honour accepted by son". BBC. 15 November 2007.

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