A team of runners from Northumberland have taken on a number of physical challenges to raise money in memory of Rachel Gillie, their close friend and family member. 

Rachel suffered from a rare form of cancer and, at the end of last year, she unfortunately passed away at the age of 26. 

Adam Gillie, her brother, decided to fundraise for Maggie’s Newcastle, a local charity which supported her at the end of her illness. 

Adam said: “Growing up up with my sister Rachel, I loved her more than anyone; she made me who I am today.

“I've spent months trying to come to terms with what's happened and still am no closer to accepting that I will never see her again. 

“Instead of wallowing, I have been using the fundraising as a vehicle to get back on the horse and get back to being happy again.

An old school friend of Rachel’s, Emma Bradshaw, said: “Watching her go through the illness was obviously really hard and made me feel so helpless, but it also opened my eyes to the support which really matters to people going through cancer. 

“I had always thought of cancer charities as research-based, but Maggie’s sees the person and offers emotional support and brings together people going through the same thing, as it is the most lonely and scary situations imaginable. 

“I remember Rachel being excited about having makeup lessons and getting a makeup kit to help her going through chemo.  

“Sadly, Rachel only discovered Maggie’s in the very last few weeks as her illness took a sudden turn, but even in that short time they offered warmth and support. 

“They have since been there, offering emotional support for Rachel’s brother Adam and Mum Denise.”

Adam added: “We've raised over £10k so it only leaves £40k to go! 

“I have a feeling these events will continue into next year until the target is met but that's fine by me, plus I think the team will be right behind me too.”

So far, they’ve taken on obstacle courses, 10k runs and cycling events, all in their efforts to reach the goal of £50k for Maggie’s. 

One of their next challenges will be the Simplyhealth Great North Run, which takes place on Sunday 10 September.

Emma said: “Adam has been the team leader throughout this; he suggested that Rachel’s friends and family all do the Simplyhealth Great North Run together.

“It has meant something good can come of something awful and the money we raise will hopefully help people going through the same thing in the future.”

Support the fundraising in Rachel’s memory for Maggie’s Newcastle.

For more information about the Simplyhealth Great North Run, visit our website.