Luciano Pavarotti and Jane Tomlinson- dual inspiration to us all.

From years in convent school days attending boring, soul-screeching, cure for insomniacs- type operas (but, hey I got a day out of school!), I never ever dreamed I would be converted to love operas. Then this wonderful tenor voice of Luciano Pavarotti was everywhere. This profound voice and captivating, smiling, warm face was on television, in movies, in glossy magazines, books, on stage and in sports arenas. Luciano Pavarotti was in my heart and soul and mind.

We look back with fondness at this gentle giant, born in Moden Italy on 12th October, 1935 and who uplifted so many hearts from a young age when he followed in the footsteps of his opera voice father. What a legend to follow! He did so much more for Opera than any other male singer. We will recall his amazing feat in bringing the Three Tenors together -JoseĀ“ Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

Even though cancer was ravishing his body and he was in the grips of so much pain, he strode on. He fought against it. He remained positive and calm, determined to keep on working on his new album.

For me his lyrics will live on- O Solo Mio, an old favourite Santa Lucia. Then there is Mamma and Notte E Piscatore and of course -Caro Mio Bien.

But today is tinged with sadness at the passsing of this legend in the early hours of dawn. We offer our deepest condolensces to Adua, Nicolette and his four daughters who adored the man as well as the voice.

We salute the King Of Opera!

Yet, he was not the only great personsĀ“ life to be snatched away by rancid cancer this week. Jane Tomlinson, MBE and CBE lost her fight at 43 against her terminal illness after battling for seven years, on Monday night 3rd September.

Jane Tomlinson of Rothwell, Leeds only link to Italy may have been her cancer fund raising bike ride from Rome to Leeds,but she is another magnificent inspiration to us all.

She personally raised over 1.75 million pounds in one endurance event after another. She would not lie back on her couch and give in. She donned her trainers and ran every night, gruelling sessions in a gym, arduous hours in all weather in West Yorkshire – she cycled on and on. Always pushing herself forward. Always refusing to let this illness take over what days, hours weeks or months she had left with her family.

With awe and admiration we watched one endurance event after another undertaken by her. Mini marathons rolled into half marathons. They stormed into full marathons and always she crossed the finishing line smiling looking for her beloved family to hug, hold and cherish. The nations hearts went out to them all – as it does this week.

She rode on and on. Solo rides, became tandem rides and then when we thought she could do no more, as her treatment was heightened, the battle was becoming fiercer against her cancer, as it had spread from her breast to her lungs and bones- she amazed us all again!

Jane decides to do the ride across Amercia -not Route 66 on a Harley Davidson, but on a push bike! Where did this young woman keep finding her mental strength, develop such physical stamina agianst such medical odds?

Her smile lives on her! May her Fund Raising Appeal to help other cancer sufferers and families do likewise. – a tribute to Jane Tomlinson and all the heartsand charities she touched.

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