1000 lengths for £1000: Breast cancer survivor Katy smashes swimming challenge

13 Jun 2017

Katy from Hackney was 24 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “The news was a huge shock, especially because of my age, and it completely turned my life upside down,” she says.

A year on, she set herself a swimming challenge to raise money for breast cancer research and help future patients in the same position.

After her diagnosis, Katy’s intensive treatment plan included surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy at St Bartholomew’s Hospital: “As horrible as chemotherapy makes you feel, the lovely nurses in Ward 7a at St Bartholomew’s always made things easier, and the radiotherapy team were fantastic, so friendly and very professional.”

“My surgery was on the 22nd of December - right before Christmas. I was worried that I would be in hospital on Christmas day but luckily I was discharged on Christmas Eve so was happy to have Christmas at home with my family - albeit having to have no alcohol and about 3 naps during the day!”

Although she’ll need to take tablets daily for the next ten years and have monthly injections, Katy has now finished her active treatment. “It feels great to not have to go to hospital appointments quite as often! Every week I am regaining energy levels that dropped so low during treatment, and am making staying healthy a big priority.”

Throughout May, Katy set herself the challenge of swimming 1000 lengths (25km) and hoped to raise £1000 for the breast cancer research fund at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. “The idea came to me to do a sponsored swim - I have always liked swimming but wasn’t able to swim during my treatment due to risk of infection, so I was excited to get back in the pool. 1000 lengths for £1000 just had a good ring to it!”

Katy completed her challenge and has raised an unbelievable £3500 so far! “It’s more than I ever dreamed of raising, and I am so grateful to have such generous and supportive friends and family to get such an amazing total.” The photo above shows her celebrating with a well-deserved prosecco after swimming her final lengths.

Thank you Katy for sharing your inspirational story with us and donating such a huge amount to breast cancer research.

If you’d like to support Katy and help fund breast cancer research at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, please visit her JustGiving page below.

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