I am a registered nurse and worked in hospital oncology units and hospices where most patients were very unwell or receiving treatments for cancer. Now working in general practice, I continue to see and care for patients and families affected by cancer.
In 2016 my close friend Lynn Cain was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer; it was heartbreaking to watch Lynn suffer and deteriorate despite treatment and trials. She died just 13 months after diagnosis, leaving behind her 15-year-old son.
Lynn’s death reinforced what I already knew – continuing cancer research is the only way forward. We need to make more progress with finding effective remedies that offer hope, so it’s important to support organisations like ACRF which are funding research.
My love of the ocean and swimming has resulted in doing several long races over the past ten years and fundraising as well. Taking part in this year’s Rottnest Channel Swim would be different though; the swim would be done in Lynn’s memory and I was completely motivated to succeed. Having participated in the 20km open water solo swim event two years ago, doing it again was achievable if I could put in the training which begins six months before. That goal kept me getting up at 4:50 am most mornings to do squad training at the local pool and then longer ocean swims during the weekends. My partner and our three teenagers were fantastic support.
The response from all my family across the world, friends and the local swimming community was tremendous, and Lynn’s family and friends were also keen to be involved.
I’m thankful to everyone inspired by my effort and commitment who contributed to my fundraising endeavour. It’s all about putting yourself out there and going for it! And going for cancer research is vital.
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