Tributes have come in for an inspirational adventurer who refused to let illness hold her back as she pushed herself to her limits for charity.
Judy Woolfenden, died suddenly aged 64 following a short stay at Warwick Hospital.
After being diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy and a rare blood condition over 20 years ago, the Kenilworth resident was told by her doctors that she would not reach her 40th birthday.
But instead of accepting her diagnosis, she went on to defy medical experts and spent years pushing herself to her limits with huge physical challenges to bring in hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities all over the UK.
Judy went on to become a well known fundraiser and campaigner for disabled rights and became the first person with a disability to tackle an eight-day dog sled ride 250km through Swedish Lapland.
In 2007, she received an with an MBE from the Queen in recognition of her prolific charitable efforts.
The former Lunn Avenue resident, who dedicated her life to helping others, earned the honour after taking part in a host of epic adventures.
Annual challenges which she set herself included a coast to coast wheelchair push from west Wales to East Anglia, a wheelchair push on the Trans Pennine Trail from Liverpool to Hornsea, and taking part in the 100 mile ultra marathon in the Cotswolds.
From her wheelchair, Judy also took part in Kenilworth’s half marathon three times with help from running teams, went on 54 hot air balloon flights and took part in eight marathons.
She was determined not to let illness hold her back and committed herself to raising thousands of pounds for good causes including Myton Hospice, Disabled Living Foundation and South Warwickshire Haematology Trust Fund.
At the time of her death, Judy was planning back to back ultra marathons covering the length and breadth of England and another arctic dog-sledding expedition to celebrate her 65th birthday.
The determined competitor last year told the KWN that she was going to achieve a world record, hoping to become the first person to be pushed in a wheelchair around the gruelling Relentless endurance event which covers 1,600 miles over 30 days.
Steve Atherton, who helped to push the adventurer around the course of the Kenilworth Half Marathon last year, said the news of her death was a terrible shock for everyone who knew her.
Remembering his friend, he said: “Judy was a real character, eccentric and so determined in everything she did, the words ‘can’t’ and ‘no’ didn’t feature in her vocabulary.
“The world is a better place thanks to her, she touched and helped so many people.”
Another described her life as “positive, cheerful and action packed” as she refused to let illness slow her down.
The funeral will be held at Oakley Wood crematorium at 1pm on June 25 with a celebration of her life at Stoneleigh Deer Park. Donations to Henry Ison funeral directors to be given to her chosen charities.