Hundreds of people turned Hinchingbrooke Country Park into a sea of pink on Saturday morning to pay tribute to prolific fundraiser Rebecca Griffiths who died on Friday.
More than 500 runners donned pink t-shirts to take part in the weekly Huntingdon Parkrun in memory of the mother-of-two who inspired colleagues, nursing staff and even fellow cancer patients to take up running.
Tributes have poured in for the former Cambridgeshire police sergeant who was diagnosed with inoperable bowel and liver cancer in August 2014 and told she only had weeks, possibly a few months, to live. Refusing to be beaten, the mother of two sons, now aged two and seven, underwent a course of chemotherapy and continued to run, convincing hundreds of people to join her and raise more than £51,000 for the Hunts Community Cancer Network (HCCN).
The cancer charity issued a statement on its website on Friday after news broke that Mrs Griffiths, aged 34, had finally lost her courageous battle with cancer.
“Her determination to make a difference, to support other people with a cancer diagnosis and to give profile to the importance of exercise is an inspiration to us all.
Bex and her growing team of supporters committed themselves to developing a fitness regime that became infectious. Team Bex - with their bright pink clothing - have been at every local running event, raising money to support HCCN. Bex’s determination to fight cancer through physical effort will live on - not only in our memories, but each day as the equipment she and her team funded is used to help us.”
Every member of the community nursing team is now equipped with an I-Stat machine that allows nurses to identify problems and respond quickly, thanks to the Team Bex fundraising.
A tribute on the Huntingdon Parkrun website read: “Rebecca not only inspired people to get up off the couch, but also to never give up regardless of the odds. In their bright pink tops, Team Bex have become staunch supporters of Huntingdon parkrun over the last 18 months, running, jogging and walking and also providing a regular stream of volunteers. Meanwhile, Bex has received a string of accolades, including an ITV Pride of Britain fundraiser award and a Living Sports Sport Award, for quite literally getting her community up and running.”
The weekly run attracted 565 runners on Saturday, who were joined by Bex’s husband Jon and their sons William and Benjamin and her sister Claire.
John Griffiths told Parkrun organisers: “Bex loved parkrun as it stands for the same beliefs as she had, fitness, challenging yourself and above all else selfless support for others. Largely thanks to Huntingdon Parkrun, Team Bex was able to blossom and spread the great views, ideas and ethos of what we stand for, week in week out, and effectively became a home base. We’re not going anywhere, we will continue to do what we do and support this great run and those who run it in the same positive way that you have, and continue to support us.”
Bex was also raising money for a defibrillator at Hinchingbrooke park, donations can be made at: www.crowdfunding.justgiving.com/teambex.