A BELOVED fitness-fanatic who tragically lost her battle with cancer is being honoured at a special charity event.
David Lloyd gym in Monkspath will host charity fitness classes this Saturday (July 2) in honour of former instructor, Claire ‘Chicks’ Hicks.
The 51-year-old tragically lost her battle with cancer on January 26 this year – after defeating the disease just 10 years ago.
Now, friends and family have clubbed together to organised a fundraising event which hopes to raise money to train other instructors at the gym to work with people who have had cancer.
Claire had worked as a PE teacher at the Solihull Sixth Form College for the last 25 before she began teaching classes at David Lloyd in her free time.
After having beaten breast cancer 10 years ago, Claire came through more determined than ever – becoming the chairwoman of Solihull Breast Friends, a group which helps local ladies from their initial diagnosis, through treatment and recovery.
Remembering Claire’s ‘amazing smile and kind, welcoming nature’, friend Sarah Turrell said: “She was just so generous and enthusiastic – she always wanted to help everyone.
“Everyone know knew her will speak of her beautiful smile and say how encouraging she was when she was teaching in her fitness classes.
“She was deeply respected and loved by so many people in Solihull – and that’s why we wanted to do this memorial event.”
Sadly, Claire’s cancer returned and she died in January this year – leaving behind husband Paul Hawthorne.
“Claire was a great person and she loved her sport and fitness,” Paul told the Observer.
“And through her work with Solihull Breast Friends she really helped women who were living with cancer or who had gone through it.
“She gave so much of her life to helping other people and since her passing I’ve come to realise how much she meant to those around her.
“Claire was an extraordinary person in an ordinary body.”
Paul and Claire met over 20 years ago and briefly dated before going their separate ways.
The pair reunited in 2013 and married last year, just months before Claire tragically died.
“Of course I would have liked more time with Claire, but I wouldn’t swap any of the pain as we were so fortunate to have had as long as we did,” Paul said.
“Claire had put her name down to do the post-cancer care course, but obviously became too ill to do it.
“So, in a way, raising money to send other people on the course is a way of carrying on her legacy of helping others.
“I know she would have been blown away by the actions and generosity of people since her passing.”
This weekend’s fundraising event will take place on Saturday, July 2 at David Lloyd gym in Monkspath.
Visitors will be able to take part in six charity fitness classes throughout the day – costing £5 for one class, or £10 for three
There will also be a raffle and refreshments on sale to raise vital funds in memory of Claire.