Debbie Dean Runs For Cancer, No Not Me!

by Heather Peebles

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Debbie Dean 3A dementia support worker has embarked on an ambitious fundraising challenge – to raise £1 million for a leading UK cancer charity and keep her sister’s charity-giving memory alive.

Debbie Dean, 43, from Springboig in Glasgow, works for Bield’s Flexicare service in the city. She has been regularly lacing up her running shoes to take part in a variety of sporting events to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care.

Debbie’s fundraising challenge is part of a long-term family goal, started by her late sister Roseann Gallagher who died from breast cancer earlier this year, aged 51.

Roseann also worked for Bield, starting her career as a career in 1992 and becoming Project Manager of Glasgow’s Supported Living in 2005. Diagnosed with cancer in 1999, Roseann continued to work for the charity throughout her illness as she felt so strongly about giving back to her local community and helping older people get the most out of life.

In October, Debbie took part in The Great Scottish Run, a 13.1 mile race that saw 25,000 participants running to raise money for charities of their choice.


One of 9,000 to make it over the finish line, Debbie completed the event in three hours and 40 minutes. She said: “It was important to me to push myself as much as possible to raise awareness and vital funds for Breast Cancer Care.

“When I felt I couldn’t go any further at the eight mile mark, I forced myself to continue. I walked the rest of the race, supported by Roseann’s son, Billy. It never occurred to me to give up, because cancer doesn’t give up. My sister’s dream was to raise £1 million to help those affected by the disease and now, it’s my dream.”

Having raised over £800 through that venture, Debbie is dreaming big in order to bring her sister’s mission to life. She has signed up to take part in Bupa’s Great Women’s 10K in May and a mammoth 380km cycle through Yosemite National Park in October 2014 – and is actively looking to get involved in other challenges to help her achieve her goal of raising £1 million.

She said: “Roseann was always my inspiration. She always aspired to help people and make a difference to their lives. She loved working with older people and was truly dedicated to her work at Bield.

“I applied for my job at Bield, caring for older people with dementia, from seeing the amazing work she did there. Now that Roseann is no longer with us, I live for both of us by doing everything I can to benefit the lives of the older people I care for, helping them to feel safe and secure and living life to the full.

“I help people every day through my work, and I know I can also make a different to the lives of the increasing number of people in our country with cancer in my spare time. It’s what keeps me going and I’m hoping that with the continued support of my community, this dream can become a reality.”

“I want to finish what Roseann started and continue with her pledge. I hope that by doing the very best I can, I’ll make her proud.

Gillian Hamilton, Area Fundraiser for Scotland at Breast Cancer Care said: “We are overwhelmed by the lengths Debbie and her family are going to raise money for us. It’s such a positive way of remembering Roseann’s life and the great work she did.

“Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, the money raised by Debbie will help Breast Cancer Care provide expert information and professional support for the 4,500 people  diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Scotland.”

Brian Logan, Chief Executive of Bield said: “Roseann and Debbie’s story is hugely motivational. We are very proud of the work Debbie is doing to honour her late sister and our former colleague, Roseann. Debbie’s kind nature, her perseverance through adversity and her generosity of spirit is inspiring to us all.”

Bield, a registered charity, provides a range of housing and care services for older people.

They have developed from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and care services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authority areas.

People can donate to Debbie Dean’s Just Giving page online at :

Private: Heather Peebles

Based as a PR in Edinburgh, Heather Peebles is a highly-valued member of the team at Holyrood PR. Her work with the Scottish public relations consultancy sees her advising clients in healthcare, construction, renewables and logistics. As well as delivering numerous successful PR campaigns, she is also experienced in crisis PR and reputation management.

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