Ellie Manns is no stranger to fundraising for our charity. Having raised £800 in June with a birthday fundraiser, and now she is back, conquering our Swimming the Distance challenge in a bid to raise even more on behalf of her mother who has been living with stage 4 lung cancer for the last four years.
“When my mum, Belinda, took early retirement four years ago, none of us could predict that one year into retired life she would be diagnosed with advanced non-small cell lung cancer with positive EGFR mutation.
“These last four years have been a rollercoaster and it feels like we’ve all been to hell and back, but thankfully we’ve had incredible support and treatment from Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and Addenbrooke’s – where my mum is being treated and other charities also.
“The hospital and charity have been a great aid to my family. We’ve been able to get a better understanding of therapies, treatments and attend monthly support groups also. Addenbrooke’s has been especially good, offering two trial treatments that have given us all hope.”
My swim, my way
“My goal is to swim 35km, the equivalent of swimming the English Channel and raise £500 for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. This charity is the only one solely dedicated to supporting everyone with lung cancer in the country – which is incredible.
“Over the years, we’ve received fantastic support. We’ve been able to access resources and material online through following the charity on social media and my parents attended the 2019 Information Day in Cambridge. We’ve all found it really useful just to have that additional support whilst we go through our cancer journey.”
Conquering the challenge
“My challenge of 35km is a hefty increase on my normal bobbing along in the pool but I have my good friend Tanya Lee supporting me in the water. She is raising funds on behalf of Parkinson’s UK as they supported her dad.
“Over the years we’ve tried to find exercises that we enjoyed, and we’ve come back to swimming. This challenge has certainly focussed me, and it makes me feel strong and capable.
“Knowing I am doing this for my mum, spurs me on and encourages me to conquer the challenge I’ve set for myself.
“It’s also fantastic to see how supportive my friends and family are. They’re all so proud and willing to help. In June they helped to raise £800 for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation through a birthday fundraiser hosted by my mum.
“I think people on the outside of the ‘cancer bubble’ often don’t know what to say or do to support those inside the bubble; something like a fundraiser is a great way to show their support.”