Honouring Luton’s glamorous Gemma with ‘Pretty Muddy’ run for breast cancer

Gemma
Gemma

Friends and family of a strong Luton woman who battled cancer with “pink lippy” and charity t-shirts are taking on a mud challenge in her memory.

Jade O’Neill, 36, of Beechwood Road, along with an army of 28 ladies in pink, will be taking part in the Bedford Pretty Muddy 5k for Cancer Research, so far raising £5,805 for the charity.

Gemma and her husband Arjan.

Gemma and her husband Arjan.

The ladies are splashing through the obstacle course in memory of Jade’s older sister, Gemma Avdullaj, who died from the disease on March 26 aged just 39.

Jade said: “Sadly, in 2016 Gemma gave birth to a baby boy at just 17 weeks who passed away.

“Soon after, we think Gemma developed mastitis, but in May 2016 she was diagnosed with Inflammatory HER2+ metastatic breast cancer; this was a massive blow to us all but Gemma remained positive throughout, going to treatments with pink lippy and cancer awareness t-shirts.”

Fighting bravely, Gemma married “the love of her life” Arjan in January 2017.

Jade (left) and Gemma (right)

Jade (left) and Gemma (right)

However, one year later she received that devastating news that the cancer had spread to numerous organs and some of her bones.

Before she died, Gemma organised this month’s muddy challenge for June 30, passing on the reins to Dawn Smith.

Jade said: “At least twice a day get that horrible feeling when I go to phone her and realise I can’t. Gemma was a beautiful soul, who will always be remembered by so many.”

The ladies would also like to thank Kerreyanne Dicker who has raised £300 by baking and selling cupcakes.

Gemma with Jade's children.

Gemma with Jade's children.

> https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/team/pure-gems

Gemma with her mum, Peggy.

Gemma with her mum, Peggy.

Gemma, her brother, Jake, and father, Terry.

Gemma, her brother, Jake, and father, Terry.

The runners taking part in memory of Gemma

The runners taking part in memory of Gemma

The runners taking part in memory of Gemma

The runners taking part in memory of Gemma