'When my sister became a paraplegic I dragged myself off the sofa and started running'

Jess Banks (left) with her friend Rachel Burgess who raised money for Cotswold Care Hospic

Jess Banks (left) with her friend Rachel Burgess who raised money for Cotswold Care Hospic

First published in News
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JESS Banks made a promise to her sister  - that she would use her legs as much as she could.


Now Jess, 27, has just completed her first half-marathon and raised more than £1,600 for the Cotswold Care Hospice.


She ran in memory of Harrie Banks, who died last year at the age of 31.
 

Harrie, a talented musician, composer and actor, was well-known in Stroud.
She was diagnosed with spinal cancer.


"After her first operation in 2008 Harrie became paraplegic," said Jess.


"Quite soon after she came out of hospital, she said to my dad that we should use our legs as much as we can - dance, walk, run.


"So in honour of her, I dragged myself off the sofa and made myself run."


Jess, who works as a stage manager in London, took part in the Cardiffhalf-marathon with her best friend, Rachel Burgess.


"Harrie was an amazing person, through everything she was strong, loving and knew what she needed to do to be happy," said Jess.


"I loved her so much and miss her deeply. The run felt like a positive way to remember her."


Harrie and her family were supported by Cotswold Care Hospice.


"The hospice was truly brilliant during everything. Harrie would go there for counselling and art sessions."


"They provided essential counselling for my mum, dad, Harrie's amazing wife Karen and me," said Jess.


"Harrie was able to stay at home throughout her final months with great help from the Cotswold Care Hospice at home nurses.


"They would come for night shifts so we could catch up on sleep, the work the nurses did was invaluable and made everything feel safer and that little bit easier in such a hard time."

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