Plucky great gran gets in the swim

Vicky Sloan who is supporting the cancer research stand up to cancer.
Vicky Sloan who is supporting the cancer research stand up to cancer.
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She might be a great-grandmother, but daredevil Vicky Sloane is always willing to take the plunge for a good cause.

Vicky, from Marton, will be taking part in the Great North Swim next month to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The 67-year-old has already been named as an ambassador for the charity and will be running the London Marathon in aid of Cancer Research next year.

July will see her take on the 5k Race for Life along the Promenade and in June she will join hundreds of others getting in the swim at Lake Windermere.

The grandmother-of-nine said: “I happened to be at Windermere when the Great North Swim was taking place last year.

“I was there supporting The Paddlers for Life, a breast cancer survivor dragon boat team.

“I thought the Great North Swim looked like brilliant fun.

“The atmosphere was just fantastic.

“There was one lady, they never said her name, but it took her about two hours to do it and everyone was cheering her on.

“I just thought ‘if she can do it, then I can do it’.

“So I decided to give it a go and sign up.”

Vicky lost her husband Eddie in 2010 to cancer. He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer on Christmas Eve 2007.

She had given up work to care for him and gradually put on weight. After reading about the Goal-den Girls over 50s running club, she decided to join them in their bid to run a marathon in the Olympic year.

She dropped from a size 24 to size 16 and has been determined to keep the fund-raising momentum going ever since.

“I’ve done other challenges before, like running the Edinburgh marathon in 2012, but not done a swimming challenge.

“I am looking forward to it, but a bit nervous.

“I’m training at Blackpool Wake Park, where anyone can swim in the open water, to get used to it and get used to the wetsuit.

“I will have my grandson Scott, who is 21, swimming with me in the Great North Swim. So it will be nice to have someone there to encourage me and keep me going.

“Cancer Research is such a good cause.

“I have seen so many people of all ages in the chemotherapy units and all of them are amazing, as they undergo treatments that are giving hope of more time to spend with loved ones.

“Research into new drugs and treatments is essential.

“So I feel it’s such a good cause to support.

“I may be a great-grandma, but am up for a challenge – especially when it can do some good.”

To support Vicky in her efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/vickysloane

lFor more information about the swim visit www.greatswim.org