Students run in tribute to teacher

In glorious sunshine more than 200 pupils and staff from Litcham High School have completed a 5km course in their own Race for Life.While many ran the whole distance and others chose to walk the six laps of the playing field they were all united in one cause - to raise money in memory of a popular teacher who died of cancer last year.

In glorious sunshine more than 200 pupils and staff from Litcham High School have completed a 5km course in their own Race for Life.

While many ran the whole distance and others chose to walk the six laps of the playing field they were all united in one cause - to raise money in memory of a popular teacher who died of cancer last year.

Gill Tyler had been a maths teacher at the school for 20 years until she was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in December 2006. She died on May 26 last year at the age of 48, less than four months after marrying her long-term partner Bill Tyler, assistant head at the school.

“She noticed one day that she could not breathe through one of her nostrils,” he said. “It took six months before they diagnosed her as having the tumour in her cheek and then they gave her six months to live. The cancer spread to other parts of her body and although she went through chemotherapy there was really nothing they could do.”


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The runners have raised money through sponsorship for the race and with other events to come they hope to top £5000 to go to cancer research.

Mr Tyler said the money would be presented to Pippa Corrie, head of oncology at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge where his wife was treated, and would be put towards a research programme into a drug for use after cancer surgery to help stop the tumours coming back.

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PE teacher Tania Gooding, who co-ordinated the run on Friday said the support for the event was “incredible.”

She said: “It started off for the year 8 and 9s but we had to open it up to other year groups because everyone wanted to do it. The girls have really got stuck in and I am very proud of them.”

First across the line and to receive her official medal was 14-year-old Grace Bird who flew round the course in under 20 minutes.

The school is hosting a Midsummer Gig and Barbecue on Saturday, June 14 featuring the school's rock and blues band of which Mr Tyler is a member. Another band made up of school pupils will be supporting them. Tickets can be bought in advance from the school on 01328 701265 or on the door.

Mr Tyler is also attempting to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats during the first two weeks of the summer holidays. He will be setting up his own website to gather donations online.

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