I always believed that Rachel would make it. Or maybe that’s just what I wanted to believe because the alternative was unimaginable. The first thing you hear people say when someone dies from cancer is ‘but they fought so hard’ as if it was so simple. Because you want it to be that simple. But it’s not true. And it’s not real. People can fight with every cell in their being and they can still die.

And even now, as I write about death, every time I even write the word it’s like my heart is being suffocated by the great weight of things that can’t be true, but still are. Rachel leaves behind her husband Tim and her three boys: Liam (13), Soren (8) and Lindsay (4). ‘Leaves behind’ is a cruel phrasing, as though she had a choice.

I can only hope that her absolute love for her beautiful family will be the bedrock that they can build on in years to come.

Just two weeks ago Rachel asked me about getting started with running again. That was Rachel. Fearless. Determined. Passionate. And inclusive. She wanted everyone included. In our community, Rachel was a friend, a coach, a mentor and a cherished part of our team.

” Rachel was my coach and gave me the confidence to achieve my dream. My love and thoughts are with the family.”

“Rachel was my running coach. Rachel’s support in that group and since then have made a difference to me – thank you Rachel for contributing to making my life better.”

The community wanted to do something for Rachel and her family, so this weekend we are doing a virtual 3km run in her honour because it was her favourite distance. And we are asking anyone who is able to donate to support her family in this difficult time. If you would like to meet up with others for your run, pop into the community group and see who is running in your area.

I hope that you will join us.

Zoey Dowling

Written by: Zoey Dowling

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