Sad pilgrimage halfway round the world for Wigan woman Julie

Julie Owen, Beth and Kerstie who raised money for breast cancer research. Below Julies sister Dianne
Julie Owen, Beth and Kerstie who raised money for breast cancer research. Below Julies sister Dianne

Geoffrey Shryhane speaks to a woman who travelled to Australia to say an emotional farewell to her sister...

Julie Owen has made many flights to the other side of the world to visit sister Dianne.

But the flight to Australia just a few weeks ago was the saddest of her life.

For Julie, a Wigan Infirmary auxiliary nurse, was flying out to be with her sister Dianne who was losing her battle against breast cancer.

She was there to comfort her as she slipped away.

At the funeral, Julie and Dianne’s husband Colin asked for donations for cancer research in place of flowers and £800 rolled in.

Back home, and with “dress in pink” cancer research day approaching, Julie has good reason to smile again.

With the permission of her ward manager, she and her friends Beth and Kerstie organised a fundraising effort, including a cake stall. And everyone who donated received a pink ribbon.

With other donations, a total of £500 was raised.

Julie said: “Losing my sister at the age of 53 was very tough but I was so glad I could fly out and be with her at the end.

“She loved living in Australia and I made several visits. We were determined never to lose touch. Sadly she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and fought a long battle which we were all devastated that she lost. But I know she would have been very proud of our fundraising in her name. She was a very special person and life will never be the same without her.”