Among those taking part in Carluke on the Run this Sunday, May 22, and raising money for the Lanarkshire Beatson, is a team with a very special reason.
Team Jacque is made up of the family and friends of Jacqueline Carrigan, who died last year aged just 51.
Jacqueline was diagnosed with cancer in March 2015, and went through rigorous chemotherapy.
Despite that, she turned up at the stadium in June to take part in the Carluke on the Run road race, along with her mum, Sadie.
A disbelieving race organiser Kathleen Feeney, Carluke Development Trust manager and Jacqueline’s sister, tried to send the pair straight home, but they insisted, telling Kathleen that they would walk the five-mile route behind the runners if they were not allowed to register!
Last year, for the first time, Carluke on the Run was supporting the new Beatson being built in Airdrie, and Jacqueline was able to complete the course for the hospital in spite of her condition.
Tragically, her condition deteriorated rapidly later in the year. Jacque, who had been living in Livingston, moved back to her mum’s home in Carluke and, surrounded by her family, she passed away in October.
She was the centre of a large loving family and has left a painful void in all of their lives. They are turning out in force on May 22 to run in her name. Some 26 members of her family and friends are running as Team Jacque in the 10k road race and children’s fun runs.
“I think every family has a Pied Piper who all the children love and adore. ‘Aunt Jacque’ was that special person in our family. An aunt like no other,” said Kathleen.
A collection at her funeral went to Cancer Research UK.
“She had a really, really strong belief that one day there would be a cure,” said Kathleen.
But having undergone treatment herself, she knew how important the extras that helped, or gave a human touch to treatment, could be for patients.
“Jacque was a great believer in the Beatson; she knew that the little things mattered,” said Kathleen.
“The government financed the new Lanarkshire Beatson but they don’t fund the special treatments and services that help to make lives better for patients and their families.”
Kathleen described these extras as “things to make the soul of a person feel better.”
Jacqueline did not live to see the opening of the Lanarkshire Beatson last year, but her family are keen to run in her name and raise money for a cause she had believed in.
“It will be an emotional day for us, but we will be doing what Jacque would want our family to do,” said Kathleen.