Gill Crushes Cancer and Conquers the Channel

Local swimmer goes to great lengths to raise money for The Eve Appeal

After beating Womb Cancer in 2014, Gill Flynn has been cancer free for nearly three years.  But in 2016, Gill’s elation was shattered when she was diagnosed with Pelvic Radiation Disease – a painful consequence of her radiotherapy treatment.  The disease makes walking difficult and Gill is now registered disabled. 

Gill said:

“Having survived Cancer, the PRD left me feeling in constant pain and was making me depressed and anxious about the future.  Initially I took up swimming as a way to exercise, but quickly became addicted to the feeling of being weightless in the water and the pain relief that brings”.

gill standing in front of gosport leisure centre sign

As Gill’s swimming went from length to strength, she decided to swim 22 miles – the same distance as the Channel, over the 31 days in March, in the pool at Gosport Leisure Centre, who sponsored Gill by granting her complimentary membership during this time. This was all done in aid of The Eve Appeal, the UK’s only gynaecological research charity.

“When I was first registered as disabled, I tended to focus on what I couldn’t do, but now I look at what I can do.  In the pool I’m the same as everyone else and I actually get a bit of a buzz when people are surprised to see me hobbling on poolside!  Initially I struggled to swim a mile but with the help of supportive staff at Gosport Leisure Centre and Swimtag – a handy device that records my distance in the pool, I now find one mile pretty easy,” said Gill.

Selfless Gill has also lost almost 2 stone in weight since staring the challenge and has made it onto the Swimtag leader board displayed in Gosport Leisure Centre.  Apart from conquering the channel and her own inner demons, Gill has raised an astounding £2,500 for The Eve Appeal & has now also taken up membership at the Leisure Centre. Gill is now going even further by swimming a marathon in May (26.2 miles, 1,699 lengths), acting as a “buddy” to her Stepson who is swimming a marathon for charity in Cirencester.

The benefits of swimming are too numerous to list, but if you want to dip a toe in the water, get in contact with us by calling 02392 534950 or try out our pool for free with our day pass – just remember to say hi to Gill as she powers past!


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