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London Moonwalk challenge in memory of Langham mother-of-three

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A group of friends took on a 26-mile walk around London in memory of a ‘brave lioness’.

Claire Baines, from Langham, died in September aged just 41 after battling triple negative breast cancer.

After an 11-month fight with the illness, which is prominent in younger women, she left behind her husband, and three young children who are aged three, eight and 11.

Friends and family of Claire Baines took on the London Moonwalk in her memory
Friends and family of Claire Baines took on the London Moonwalk in her memory

Claire’s mum, Ann Suggett, said: “It’s no age to lose your mummy.

“Claire wasn’t just my daughter, she was my very best friend. People said to me they had never seen a bond between a mother and daughter like ours.”

To raise money for Breast Cancer Research, 12 of Claire’s friends and family took on The MoonWalk London.

Ann Suggett and Claire Baines
Ann Suggett and Claire Baines

It involved a 26-mile night-time walk around London, visiting some of the famous landmarks which were lit up pink to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The team was named Claire’s Lionesses after the 41-year-old to represent her determination and how she ‘fought like a lion to stay alive’.

Lisa Barnett, team captain, said: “Claire was an absolute warrior right until the end, always thinking of others so it’s time for us to do something to give back, to celebrate her and hopefully the money we raise will help or prevent people in the future having to battle against cancer like Claire so bravely did.

“Things like this can’t bring her back, the pain of loss is with everyone who knew her every day but it is our chance to honour Claire, do something good, raise awareness, help her children understand just how special their mummy is, and hopefully bring a smile to her face in heaven.”

Ann and Lewis were at each milestone and welcomed the team through the finish line with open arms.

She said: “We were all there to walk the last yards with them as they got towards the finishing line.

“We were incredibly proud and touched. It was a poignant moment as I know, had she been alive, Claire would have walked it with them.

“As they were going round they said it felt like she was with them.”

Many of the team had never walked competitively with one woman taking part using crutches and a wheelchair.

The group chose the event as Claire was a keen fundraiser and ‘raised a lot of money’ herself after her grandmother and great aunt were affected by cancer.

Claire’s Lionesses raised more than £10,200 for Breast Cancer Research through the MoonWalk. The team hope to continue to fundraise each year. There are also plans for a men’s team called Claire’s Lions to take part in events to raise money.

“It’s incredibly sad but inspiring,” said Ann. “None of us want her death to be in vain. We want to stop other families going through what we have gone through.”

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