David's story

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David1After five months without access to his local swimming pool, Nuneaton resident David Hall is relieved to be able to get back into the water – particularly as he has a training regime to undertake in these unprecedented times. Hall has entered this year’s Swimathon event – his second time undertaking the challenge, where swimmers take on a challenge of their choosing to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. While the event was postponed back in March, Swimathon is now back and he is ready to get back into the swing of things.

“I had not been in the pool since the end of March this year, so training restarted when it opened on Saturday 22 August,” David explained. “I was a bit rusty to start with, but I’ll try and get back up to speed and go for beating my last time, which I’m sure I will. 

“I first heard about Swimathon at my local leisure centre in 2017 and not knowing what lay ahead decided at that time it would be a great event to support. As a very keen swimmer I also qualified as a lifeguard too during 2017, and am now part of the casual lifeguarding staff at the Pingles Leisure Centre in Nuneaton, which is where I train also.

“In December 2017 I visited my GP having had concerns over a large mole on my chest that had started to change in its appearance. I was instantly referred to the Dermatology unit at the local hospital, and I had an operation to remove the mole during the first week of January 2018. 21 stitches later I had quite a scare when advised that after testing I had in fact got Melanoma and that a second operation would be necessary to remove a larger area from around the mole to ensure that it was all removed. Thankfully, second time around the results came back clear but I then had a series of three monthly follow up checks for the next two years. I was formally discharged in October 2019.

“Having been through the system of care, in particular with the nurses during my check-ups, I was very impressed with the NHS and the follow ups. It was all very reassuring while I carried on with my day job. It’s because of this experience alone that Swimathon and its associated charities – Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie – will continue to remain very close and I will support them wherever possible. I undertook my first event in 2018 shortly after recovery, and after missing out last year, I am determined to get this year’s event done, despite the challenges.”

Want to join David and take on your own MySwimathon challenge this year? Click here to pick your challenge and sign up now!