Hitchin and Letchworth brothers-in-law set for London marathon in honour of incredible Anne

Layth Yousif and Harry Mason will be running the London Marathon

Layth Yousif and Harry Mason will be running the London Marathon - Credit: Archant

A Comet journalist and his brother-in-law are running the London Marathon to fundraise and honour the memory of a much-loved Hitchin mum who tragically died from a rare form of cancer at the age of 37 – leaving behind a husband and three young children.

Layth Yousif and Harry Mason will be running the London Marathon

Layth Yousif and Harry Mason will be running the London Marathon - Credit: Archant

Anne Aurousseau passed away from adenoid cystic carcinoma in October 2014 – the day after hundreds of friends, family and well-wishers held a family fun day at Lucas Lane to raise money for further treatments.

Anne’s brother, Harry Mason, and Layth Yousif are running this month’s marathon to raise money for the head and neck cancer charity Get-A-Head in honour of Anne.

Layth, who lives on Bunyan Road, said: “Anne was a truly wonderful person who touched so many people’s lives.

“We were friends for 20 years and we shared so many happy memories, including when she and her husband Jamie came to visit my partner Claire – who was Anne’s sister and best friend – and myself when we lived in Australia, before all our kids were born.

Anne's daughter Eleanor Street and Charlotte Yousif as the Wilshere-Dacre Junior Academy cake sale

Anne's daughter Eleanor Street and Charlotte Yousif as the Wilshere-Dacre Junior Academy cake sale - Credit: Archant


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“We drove from Sydney to Broken Hill in the outback and camped in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

“The four of us had such a laugh as we kept going into pubs which were just like Crocodile Dundee and having a great time with all the eccentric locals. Anne was a force of nature.

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“She was a positive person who made people feel special. She was fun and easygoing but also a very loyal person, and a brilliant mother, and wife to Jamie. It’s heartbreaking to see her three lovely kids – my nephew and nieces – left without a mum through this cruel disease.

“The ways family, friends and the wider community in Hitchin have rallied around since she passed away after such a brave fight have been incredible and I can’t thank everyone enough for all their help in so many ways.”

Wilshere-Dacre Junior Academy on Fishponds Road – which Layth’s and Claire’s three children attend along with his two nieces – recently held a cake sale which contributed £200 towards his fund.

Layth added: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to head Sarah Smith, to teacher Tessa Alexander – who was also a good friend of Anne – and to all the parents, staff and kids at the school for their help.

“I’d also like to thank many Comet colleagues for sponsoring me too – as well as Archant for hopefully matching my total. It’s at £2,500 so I’m hoping for at least double. Training’s been tough but I’ll crawl round if I have to.”

Anne’s brother Harry from Archer’s Way, said: “Anne had a genuine care for people which was expressed through the love she freely and constantly gave. “She genuinely looked out for people.

“Although Anne is not here in the physical sense, I know that she is here in spirit.

“Anne was very keen on research and beating cancer which is why my chosen charity is the Get-A-Head charitable trust.”

Anne, Claire and Harry’s mum Pauline Mason, also from Archer’s Way, added: “Not a minute goes by when I don’t think of Anne.

“I’m so proud of my other daughter Claire too, for working so hard for Anne’s children – and Harry and Layth for running the marathon.”

To donate to Harry and Layth’s fundraising pages visit:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=HarryMason

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Layth.Yousif

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