AN OLYMPIC torch bearer who carried the flame through Stratford-upon-Avon has died.
Helen Cleaver, aged 52 from Little Witley in Worcestershire, lost her battle with breast cancer last Friday.
She was the third person to carry the torch in Stratford, picking it up on the Shipston Road and carrying it past heaving crowds by the Shell garage onto the Clopton Bridge.
Having undergone a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, she said at the time: “I was surprised to have been nominated and wasn’t even sure I was going to be alive for it.”
Diagnosed in 2009, after her surgery she joined a dragon-boat racing team and went on to paddle with the GB Senior Ladies Team.
She was chosen to carry the torch for her charity work; in 2010 she organised a walk in temperatures of -12C that raised over £4,000 for breast cancer charities.
Sue Shackleton, Mrs Cleaver’s friend and a fellow breast cancer patient, said: “Last year was a fantastic year for Helen despite the fact she was very, very ill.
“She did such a lot of wonderful things, like carrying the torch and she was on the boat with us for the Queen's Jubilee Pageant on the Thames in June.”
Allan Coldicott, pictured left, the Stratford man who carried the torch along the Birmingham Road, lost his sight for six weeks shortly after the relay.
A postman in the town for 33 years and the longest-serving member of Stratford Athletic Club, he was diagnosed with a rare skin disease known as Sweet’s Syndrome.
Fortunately, Mr Coldicott has since regained his sight although it is not as strong as before. He is now raising money for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
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