Today we remember Jen Weller, an inspirational campaigner and much-loved personal trainer, on the first anniversary of her death.
Jen was diagnosed with a primary tumour in her lung and five secondary tumours in her brain, as well as others in her neck and pelvis, in September 2020, aged 35. She underwent surgery to remove the largest of her brain tumours and had targeted drug therapy to try and slow the growth of the others, but in 2021 she learned her cancer had progressed. Jen had radiotherapy, but by the end of the year she had developed a further nine brain tumours.
Sadly, her health continued to deteriorate and Jen died in a hospice, with her husband Steve by her side, on 25th May 2022.
Following her shock diagnosis, Jen launched a year-long series of fundraisers for Brain Tumour Research and ALK Positive UK. Under the banner WellerFest, she raised more than £20,000 for Brain Tumour Research. Her fundraisers included an abseil down Portsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower, a ‘Big Dip’ advent sea swim, cycling John O’Groats to Land’s End, summitting Snowdon and ziplining Velocity 2.
Family and friends are continuing Jen’s legacy and just last month, a charity football match held at Hassocks Football Club raised more than £1,000. The match involved women Jen played football with from the age of 15, as well as her step-granddaughter who scored two goals and Steve who refereed. Players wore the kits Jen obtained last year, pink for Brain Tumour Research and blue for ALK Positive UK.
Jen’s stepson Paul, who ran the TCS London Marathon last month for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Losing someone so close makes you realise how cruel this disease is. The fact it affects so many people at such a young age, but gets such little investment, makes me want to do all I can to prevent it from happening to others by raising funds and awareness.
“We were the unlucky ones because we always knew we were going to lose Jen, but we spent the time we had trying to get her story out there so people would understand the need to give more, and to try to get more recognition from those who can help make a difference.”
“Dad and I would like to thank everyone who has supported us and followed our story, and for all the support shown to Jen.”
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