Honouring the memory of Ashton nurse by taking on trio of challenges for Rosemere

Posted on - 6th April, 2022 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Charities, Longton & New Longton, Penwortham, Preston News
Three women are taking on the challenge in memory of their family member and friend

Three women are set to honour the memory of someone very special to them by taking on a trio of fitness challenges for charity.


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

Now her daughter Michelle Livesey, of Longton, and her friends Jackie Brunton, of Penwortham, and Jo Topping, of Longton, are taking great strides of their own via a trio of fitness challenges for charity to honour Vanessa, who
sadly passed away in February of kidney cancer at the age of just 61.

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Michelle said: “Mum loved walking and believed being active was important to a healthy life. She encouraged her patients to take part in Avenham’s ‘5K Your Way’ as a 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 the April to remove one of her kidneys but doctors found further lesions.

“Even though she had cancer, mum continued to walk and take part in the ‘5KYour Way’ as she knew that being fitter helped the body better cope with treatment. She was desperate to return to work. She completed the December ‘5K Your Way’ and did two half days back at work in January not realising how poorly she was.”


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

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

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

The friends have set up an online fundraising page at with all money raised to be split equally between Rosemere Cancer Foundation and St Catherine’s Hospice.

Michelle added: “These are charities close to mum’s heart and we’re raising money for them in a way I know she would approve of – outdoors appreciating nature and being active.”

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