A Rickmansworth cancer survivor has completed her swim across the English Channel after four years of facing setbacks.
Jody Jones completed her swim in 18 hours, 14 minutes and 30 seconds on August 28.
Speaking to RickyNews, Jody said: “I booked my Channel solo swim back in 2015 as you have to book in advance as there are only 12 boats who are licensed to pilot Channel swims and there is a lot of competition for getting a good tide.
“In 2017 I started getting some increasingly painful and persistent abdominal cramps. After getting checked out by the doctor a few times to rule things out, they referred me to a consultant and a week before Christmas I had some surgery which came back with a shock diagnosis of bowel cancer that had spread to my liver, making it stage four.
“I was 39 years old, with two small children, was fitter than I had ever been in my entire life. I had to have emergency surgery to remove a 15cm tumour and over half my colon 10 days later and started six months of fortnightly chemotherapy in the February. The surgery meant that I had to delay my swim to August 2019.
“I was back in the pool five weeks after my surgery and was able to train throughout my chemo on the days when I was feeling okay. Just three weeks after my chemo had finished, I did a five-hour sea swim at Durley which gave me a huge mental boost.
“In total, I’ve had seven surgeries and have so far had 24 cycles of chemotherapy as well as dozens of scans. Following a reoccurrence earlier this year, I am now likely to be on chemotherapy for the rest of my life and am likely to be incurable but currently stable.
“The Channel Rules dictate you are not allowed to touch the boat or anyone on it for the duration of your swim. Less than 2100 solo swimmers have completed this swim since the first successful solo back in 1875 – more people have climbed Mount Everest.”
To read more surrounding Jody’s journey, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jodyschannelswim2019
Photo courtesy of Rich Jones at Reach the Peak Photography