West Suffolk: Tributes paid to a tireless fighter

TRIBUTES were being paid today to a well-known west Suffolk woman whose mantra in life was “live, love, laugh”.

Suzanne Rush died peacefully at home in Bradfield St George on Thursday, October 25, following a four-year journey with motor neurone disease (MND).

The 48-year-old, known to many as Suzie, grew up in Thetford and was educated at Culford School, before training in health and beauty at Champneys.

She married her husband Mark 26 years ago and had her family – twin sons Guy and Miles, 25, and Camilla, 21 – before becoming a senior lecturer in health and beauty at West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds.

Following her diagnosis with MND in April 2008, she decided to undertake an epic fundraising challenge in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care. She was inspired by the help her family had received from the hospice as a result of her sister Rosie’s battle with MND.

“She had to make MND her friend – she made a friend of her illness,” said Mark, adding that Suzie was a courageous person.

Before her diagnosis she had taken part in activities including caving, abseiling, riding and a bobsleigh holiday.

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“She was willing to have a go at most things,” added Mark.

In October 2008 Suzie and best friend Debs Turpin set off on a quad bike ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Called the Two Pink Ladies’ Challenge, the pair travelled the length of the UK on pink quad bikes, with help from family, friends and hospice staff. The challenge raised �30,000, but on arriving in Land’s End on October 25, 2008, Suzie learned her sister had died earlier that day.

Her mother, Jenny Large, said: “Suzie inspired people. All the family and Rosie’s children have done a full or half marathon for the hospice or MND Association. She always made people smile and laugh, even in the most difficult circumstances, and she always looked effortlessly beautiful, right to the end.”

Mark said: “Now, the next generation are trying to raise funds for charity. There is a Two Pink Ladies’ Ball, on November 24, at Alpheton Hall Barns, which Suzie had a little input into before she died.

“Suzie really cared for and appreciated all the people who had helped. She was so grateful to the health service and others from all walks of life who supported her. Suzie was loved by everybody.”

Her daughter Camilla said: “She was the best mum in the world.”

Suzie’s funeral takes place on Wednesday, at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, at 2pm, to which all are welcome, followed by a private cremation.

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