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Friendship prompts swim for charity


A woman who lost two close friends to cancer is taking part in a swimathon to raise money to fight the disease.

Mrs Sally Alvey (46) of Station Road, Kirklington, is aiming to swim 21/2km (1.6 miles) in under an hour to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Mrs Alvey, a yoga teacher and owner of a design and print business, The Format Factory, said she wanted to do something positive to remember her friends.

“They were both in their 40s and had teenage children,” she said.

“These were young women and it was very difficult to think of something I could do other than say to their husbands how sorry I was and how I wished it was different.

“This seemed like something positive I could do.

“It really struck me how amazingly graceful and brave these women were when they were faced with something like that because if it was me I would feel so angry.

“These women just got on with it and they were so inspiring and so brave.”

Mrs Kim Winstanley, of Nottingham, died of stomach cancer on March 23 aged 49, leaving her husband, a son aged 14 and daughter aged 12.

Mrs Jo Baggaley, of Mansfield, died of breast cancer in November aged 46, leaving her husband and a son and daughter both aged 13.

Another of Mrs Alvey’s friends, Mrs Elaine Taylor, of Hucknall, is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Mrs Alvey said: “It just seemed particularly important to me to try to do something positive to help Marie Curie.”

Mrs Alvey is swimming as part of Swimathon 2008 which runs from April 17 to 20 in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Swimmers are challenged to complete distances of 11/2km, 21/2km or 5km or take part in the SimplySwim challenge where they complete any distance they choose in as many swimming sessions as they need.

“I haven’t swum regularly for quite a long time so I thought that swimming 5km would be a bit too much but I still wanted it to be challenging and I wanted to give more meaning to it so I thought I would set myself a time limit,” said Mrs Alvey.

Mrs Alvey’s husband, Mr Jeff Alvey, and her daughter Rachael (5) would support her in the swimathon at Southwell Leisure Centre on April 19 at 5.30pm.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Mrs Alvey can do so at www.swimathon.org

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