Wife’s fundraising mission in cancer fight

Natasha Langthorne, who is taking part in the Great North Swim
Natasha Langthorne, who is taking part in the Great North Swim
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Natasha Langthorne is determined to make a big splash in the fight against cancer.

Natasha, from Lytham, is tackling this year’s Great North Swim after her husband, David, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November.

David, 34, found a lump on his neck last September, following tests his diagnosis was confirmed and he started treatment.

David had originally signed up to take on the event next month with 12-year-old son Charlie, but his treatment means that won’t be possible, so despite her fear of open water, Natasha stepped in to take his place. Inspired by her bravery, 14 of their friends and family, including sister-in-law Sarah, have signed up to take on the event with them and fundraise for Macmillan.

Natasha, also 34, said: “It’s been extremely hard as David was a very healthy man, he’s not a drinker or a smoker, and is very active. It was so unexpected, he has two children and to them cancer is a very scary thing. He didn’t seem ill when he was diagnosed, but since he’s started chemo he’s become very poorly, so it’s hard for them to get their heads around.

“Because it’s lymphatic, it doesn’t show up on normal scans so we have no way of knowing how effective the treatment has been, we have to wait 12 weeks to find out.”

As well as fundraising for Macmillan, who have provided the whole family with support, the family is undertaking other challenges and activities to fundraise for the Lymphoma Association and DKMS to raise awareness of stem cell donation.

Natasha said: “At some point, we might be relying on somebody to donate stem cells to save my husband’s life. A lot of people don’t know they can opt into the register, or that stem cell treatment and transplants exist.

“It’s a massive psychological challenge for me, I hate water. I’ve signed up to swimming lessons to help me with my confidence, I’d rather take on the challenge than tell Charlie he couldn’t do it. I’ve been swimming a mile a week breaststroke with Swimfit at my local YMCA, I’m sure on the day adrenaline will get me through it.”

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/langthornevslymphoma

See greatswim.org/north