TV star send-off for woman defying cancer in fund walk

A SELBY cancer sufferer embarking on a five-day sponsored walk only days after starting chemotherapy treatment for the second time in two years, is being waved off by Coronation Street actress Jean Alexander.

Jean Gratton, of Burn, near Selby, was treated for ovarian cancer two years ago and was given the all-clear months later.

Since her initial treatment she has organised a range of fundraising events for Yorkshire Cancer Research and was planning the coastal walk from Saltburn to Filey starting this month.

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But a few weeks ago she was told the cancer had returned and she will have to begin a new treatment of chemotherapy days.

But the 61-year-old has decided she is still going ahead with the walk alongside seven friends and relatives and has received the backing of Miss Alexander, the honorary Mayoress of Burn who plays Hilda Ogden in the television soap.

“I am obviously quite frightened at the news but I am determined to do as much of the walk as I can”, she said. “It is a very good cause and I am not backing out.

“I am hoping we can raise several thousand pounds.

“People have been so generous.”

Miss Alexander, who is planning to greet the hikers when they arrive in Filey on June 18, said: “I am proud of Jean Gratton for her determination in going ahead with the walk.

“Cancer touches so many people and the money she raises is going to a very important cause.”