January 18, 2016
Tributes paid to Burnham's Christine Piper, brave cancer fundraiser

Tributes have been paid to Burnham-On-Sea's Christine Piper who touched many people’s lives with her passion in the fight against breast cancer.

Christine, 68, died at 1.55pm on Wednesday January 6th at Burnham Lodge Nursing Home after a brave battle with the disease and the long-term effects of earlier treatments.

She founded the charity, Somerset Breast Cancer Now, in 1997 with her husband John, whom she was married to for 45 years.

Her daughter Holly describes her as an "amazing lady" who is greatly missed.

"Christine was a wife to John for 45 years," she says. "A mother to Neal, Colin, Alexander, Holly and Tim, a grandmother to Laura, Megan, Ashlea, Alex, Rosie, Chloe, Oscar and Ava and a great grandmother to Elodie."

"She will be sadly missed by family and friends - a lady who touched many people’s lives with her passion and dedication in the fight against breast cancer."

"Christine saw much advancement in the detection and treatment of breast cancer since she was first diagnosed in 1988, but unfortunately it was the long-term effects of earlier treatments for the disease which ultimately contributed to her failing health."

Christine was presented with several awards for her fundraising work and organised many events for the charity over the years.

She was recognised with several awards including Bristol Evening Post's Woman of Courage in 2002 and she won the BBC Inspiration Award in 2008. She was also involved in an all party parliamentary committee on breast cancer.

"Despite further diagnosis and treatment in 2001, Christine continued to lead the group, raising money and awareness for Breakthrough with a whole string of events," said Holly.

"These included a tug of war with the presenters of ITV Twist on the Beach in 2002 recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, a visit to Burnham from the Rugby World Cup relay message ball in 1999, pulling Humphrey the Camel around the streets of Bath, launching Julie's Legacy in 2011 and a world record attempt for the largest rugby scrum."

"She also arranged annual Christmas shopping fairs, summer fetes and annual gala balls, pink balloon walks, fashion shows, wicked women evenings and ladies nights, golf events, skydives, quiz and race nights."

"It feels impossible to list all the events which she organised and inspired."

In 2009, on behalf of the Somerset women Campaign, Christine presented cheques totalling £80,000 to four Somerset clinics, including the Breast Care Centre at Weston General Hospital and Taunton's Musgrove Park hospital.

"The staff at Burnham Lodge were brilliant with mum and always made extra time for her and our family. It's a sad time but we will carry on the legacy left behind by Christine."

Christine’s funeral will be held on Monday January 25th at St Mary's Church in Berrow followed by a Celebration of Christine's life at the BASC in Burnham.

All those who knew Christine are welcome to attend in smart, colourful dress. It will be only family flowers, but the family appreciates any donations for Breast Cancer Now at


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