Brave survivor treks across scorching Wadi Rum desert in Jordan with Love Island winner Amber Gill for cervical cancer charity

A Blackpool woman who beat cervical cancer 10 years ago journeyed 75km across the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 12:30 pm

Tina Swift, 42, joined a group of other survivors, and Love Island winner Amber Gill, in the five-day challenge, organised by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the UK’s leading cervical cancer charity.

Hikers set off from Dana Nature Reserve on May 14 and made their way along the green valley floor, which is known for its rich wildlife, before crossing the rocky desert, where temperatures soared to 40C. Their journey came to an end in the ancient ‘rose-red city’ of Petra, a once-thriving metropolis dating back to fourth century BC.

Tina, a optician for Wooding Opticians in Bispham, said: "This was possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. Temperatures reached 40 degrees one day and we were climbing up rocky mountains and scrambling down paths. I really pushed myself to my limit and am so thankful to everyone who supported me by donating.”

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Tina Swift

The mum of two raised almost £3,000 for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, which supported her during her own cancer fight.

She said: “In 2011 I was diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer. It was a huge shock, not only to me, but to my family also. At the time I had two young children and I felt like my world had crumbled. There were so many questions needing answers: will I be here to see my babies grow up, will I need chemo, will I lose my hair, will I die, what will life be like after surgery?

"I found Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust after my surgery, when I was looking for questions about early menopause after a radical hysterectomy. They answered some of my concerns and I found a place that was for me. If I knew about this brilliant charity before, maybe more questions would have been answered.”

Samantha Dixon, CEO of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We are so thankful to Tina for taking on this incredible challenge. Trekking in the desert is a huge undertaking and the funds raised will go towards ensuring that Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust can continue to offer vital support and information so that nobody has to face a cervical cancer diagnosis alone.”

The group supporting Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust