PUPILS at a Darlington school sacrificed lessons to support a fund to research future treatments of lung cancer patients, following the untimely death of a 37-year-old woman.

Year 7 to 10 pupils at Hurworth School paid £1 each to take part in non-uniform day in memory of Georgie Gatenby.

And nearly 150 of the more energetic youngsters made a further donation to run around a two-mile track on the school playing fields.

Georgie’s husband, Chris, set up a JustGiving page after her death, and pledged to run two miles a day to raise £25,000 to pay for a one-year Masters student at University of York to research future treatments of the disease.

Running just two miles a day, he had reached his target within 16 weeks, so raised the amount to £65,000 to fund a three-year PhD research student, and pledged to run one thousand miles in a year.

Family friend Sam Reilly, Assistant Head at Hurworth School, heard about his challenge and asked the school to support him.

Chris joined the enthusiastic students, along with Head of Maths, Ryan Elgie, to run four times around the playing field.

Chris has run every day since February 7 last year, taking in every English county, as well as pounding the roads in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. He finishes his run on February 6 but is committed to taking part in more challenges to raise money for his cause.

As well as the run, pupils and staff brought in sweet treats for a cake sale, and the grand total of £870 was raised towards the fund.

Chris said: “It’s a misconception that lung cancer is just a smoker’s disease. Every day, 44 women die of the disease. I’m very thankful to Sam and the school for organising this event. It shows the best of people at the worst of times.”

To support Chris, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jog-4-georgie