Weʼve raised £0 to As part of my cancer recovery I have qualified to represent Team GB at the World Triathlon Championships in Australia, and need your support
- Closed on Saturday, 10th November 2018
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In early 2016 I was diagnosed with head and neck cancer, of which I have to date seen no recurrence. However, as part of my treatment I underwent a neck dissection to remove any tumour present (whatever you do, do not google images this…). During this surgery, I unexpectedly sat up and the surgeon inadvertently cut the spinal accessory nerve that innervates much of my back, neck and shoulder (both the trapezius and sternomastoid muscles - you can google these in relative safety...). The physiological result was that I could not lift my head off a pillow or pick up anything with my right arm, I could not even lift my arm above 75 degrees as the muscles atrophied to around 10% of their original mass. I have always been very active, and so this life changing disability was devastating.
However, I was utterly determined to make the absolute best of the situation. I found an amazing physiotherapist who was used to putting back together soldiers with far worse injuries than my own and we went on a journey together - starting with stretching the weakest possible elastic gym band a couple of inches, progressing though all of the other colours, through press ups on gym balls, to knee press ups, to planking and on and on. From day one my target was to represent my country in a tri suit and a worked every single day to reach that goal. Even with all the determination in the World, my last tests rated the strength of my right shoulder unit as 50% of the left, which has impacted considerably on my ability to be a competitive swimmer. However, I have qualified to represent Team GB at the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Australia in September, a dream come true for me. I get up at 5am every day, get my kids ready for school, and train as hard as I can; 365 days a year, birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, no excuses. All I need now is the funds to get there....
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