Anna Gomori-Woodcock lost her mother to pancreatic cancer in 2006, only 16 weeks after the diagnosis. More recently, having discovered an enjoyment of outdoor swimming, Anna decided that a cross-Channel swim would be her way to raise money for more research into the disease. With five other swimmers, she formed 'The Pancrequatics' to do the swim as a relay.
To get their Channel 'slot', the team had to be ready to go at fairly short notice. And on Thursday 1st September, they got the call to get to Dover on Friday 2nd for an 11pm departure! Each team member - Heather and Su Tysoe, Kevan Haydon, Tom Mellor and Zoe Sadler (who stepped in as a substitute at the 11th hour) and Anna had to swim one hour sessions in strict rotation, and were only allowed to wear normal swimsuits, hat and goggles. "I didn’t know anything about pancreatic cancer until mum was diagnosed,” said Anna, “and I was shocked and upset to discover the terrible statistics of this disease. We all miss her so much and I’ll be thinking of her to keep me focused as I swim."
Having coped with chilly sea temperatures of 15 degrees, not to mention jelly fish, and encouraged from the boat by supporter Tracey Allison, the team completed the crossing in 14 hours 11 minutes. Although very tired, Anna declared herself 'Very, very happy."
Over £11,000 has been raised so far, and donations can still be made by texting SWIM06 £5 to 70070. This gives a donation of £5, all of which goes to the charity.
Anna (arms outstretched) and fellow Pancrequatics relax after the 22 mile swim