Team Jackie's 300 run Bath Half Marathon in mother's memory
A group of friends and charity supporters from the Duchess of Cambridge's home village will form one of the biggest teams at the Bath Half Marathon next month.
Around 300 people will take part in either the main race or the family fun run under the banner of Team Jackie, in memory of a mother-of-two from Bucklebury in Berkshire who died of pancreatic cancer last summer.
Her husband David hoped to get around 20 people to join him in running the race on March 3 to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.
Numbers have been swollen by children, parents and teachers at the school in Newbury which the couple's daughters attend, and friends, relations and former colleagues of Jackie, who was chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
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Team Jackie is the largest team that the charity has ever had running on its behalf, with the aim of raising more than £50,000.
Jackie Orme was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2011. Despite being one of the small number of people diagnosed early enough for surgery to be attempted, when surgeons tried to operate they found that the cancer had already spread.
David said: "Jackie made a huge impact on other people's lives both professionally and personally, despite her own life being cruelly cut short. She was loved by so many people – as you can see from the support for this fundraiser. It's all been totally overwhelming and I don't have the words to express how much it means to me and the girls."
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all common cancers but receives less than two per cent of all cancer research funding.
David added: "Jackie fought so hard to stay with us, but there just weren't any effective treatments left when the surgery failed. Pancreatic cancer is such a terrible disease, I just don't understand why it's so overlooked and underfunded. This has to change."
Fund founder and chief executive Maggie Blanks said: "What David is doing is inspirational and it's so moving to see so many people come forward and honour Jackie's life like this. It's thanks to the efforts of supporters like David we're able to fund some £4 million of research projects across the UK to develop much-needed therapies for pancreatic cancer."
To sponsor Team Jackie, go to http://www.justgiving.com/David-Orme1.