Emma Priestman's Open Water Swimathon story

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Emma Priestman and four of her friends are taking on a 5k challenge at Open Water Swimathon 2019 to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. The group are set to take to the water at Holme Pierrepoint in Nottingham on Sunday 8 September, and have so far raised over £2,700. Read on for why these two causes are so important to Emma and her loved ones...

"These two charities are very close to my heart and I would like to both raise awareness of them and to also raise some much needed funds to support what they do.

"Back in April 2018 my husband Adam (then 48 years old) was diagnosed with NSCLC lung cancer. This was very much out of the blue, and a great shock to our family. Over Easter he had surgery to remove part of his left lung, followed by 12 weeks of chemotherapy. At that point he was told that he was cancer free (hooray) but was given the opportunity to take part in an immunotherapy trial. This trial was a double blinded placebo trial, so we wouldn't know if he was on the real drug or not. It was a no brainer, with all of the extra checks and scans that went with the trial, and the opportunity of hopefully helping Adam and other cancer patients in the future we said yes. The trial was for 12 months.

"Then in April this year, following one of those early scans, we were given the devastating news that the cancer had returned. More surgery followed to remove a wedge of lung. Adam is now being treated with Targeted Therapy to hopefully treat the tumours that are left, and to be cancer free again. Without this trial there wouldn't have been early detection of the tumours - thank goodness for the trial.

"So, it is so very important that Cancer Research UK have the funds to research and test up-and-coming drugs and treatments, to be able to help people like Adam and all other cancer patients fight their battles with the 'big C'. They receive NO government funding for their work. This is about our futures and saving lives.

"As for Marie Curie, what a fantastic organisation. We have not as yet had to use their services, they help, support and care for not only the patients but their families too. Around 2,100 Marie Curie nurses work around the clock in people's homes all over the UK. None of us know what's around the corner and when we might be asking for support ourselves."

Read more about Emma's story and donate on her JustGiving page.

If these charities are as close to your heart as they are to Emma and Adam's, make your event count by pledging to fundraise for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. Click here to find out more and set up your JustGiving page - it takes just a few minutes.