A TAXI driver marked the anniversary of his sister’s untimely death by organising a charity run with more than 100 participants.

Debbie Mayers, from Runcorn, died at the age of 43 in 2011 due to complications from type one diabetes, which she had been diagnosed with as a child.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Debbie Mayers

On January 25, her brother Tony Norton held the Dash 4 Diabetes at Victoria Park in Warrington – nine years to the day since her passing.

A total of 130 runners donated £10 to Diabetes UK in order to take part in the 5km run, which was held alongside the Saturday morning Parkrun.

Tony has raised more than £16,000 for the charity since her death, and is hoping that the total will hit £20,000 by the 10th anniversary next year.

This was the fifth time he had held Dash 4 Diabetes in Debbie's memory.

The 48-year-old, from Castlefields, said: "I never used to be a runner and Debbie wasn't a runner, but when she passed away I signed up for a 10km the day afterwards.

"Since then I've done the London Marathon, ironman challenges and triathlons.

"I started the Dash 4 Diabetes five years ago, and I do it every year.

"I've always done it between December 25 and January 25, because we got told on Christmas Day that she wasn't going to make it past Christmas Day – but she put up a battle and passed away on January 25.

"This year, it fell on my sister's ninth anniversary and a lot of people got involved.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Five-year-old Jessica Treagust was the youngest runner at Dash 4 Diabetes

"It always is an emotional occasion, every year."

Debbie was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of six and suffered amputations as a result, but 'kept on going till the end'.

Tony has further fundraisers planned for 2019 – including the Great North Run, marathons in Manchester and Liverpool and ironman challenges.

The cabbie added: "A lot of people have a connection with diabetes, and more and more people are realising that it's a condition that you have to take seriously.

"It motivates me and I'm hoping she would be proud."

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