Mother with terminal cancer urges people to take part in Swimathon 2020 for charity

PUBLISHED: 17:25 17 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:18 18 February 2020

Heidi Loughlin, aged 37, is rasing money for charities to help beat cancer.Picture: paulgillisphoto

Heidi Loughlin, aged 37, is rasing money for charities to help beat cancer.Picture: paulgillisphoto


A Portishead mother with incurable breast cancer is encouraging people to take part in Swimathon 2020 to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Heidi Loughlin was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in 2015, after she noticed a rash while breastfeeding her son.

The former Metropolitan Police officer was given up to five years to live after being told the news, when she was 13 weeks pregnant with her daughter, Ally.

Sadly, Ally was born premature in December 2015, after she contracted an infection and died just days later.

Heidi now receives palliative chemotherapy every three weeks and has written an award-winning blog, Storm in A Tit Cup, and a book for her two sons about her life experiences.

The 37-year-old's journey has prompted her to take part in one of the world's largest swimming fundraisers for two national charities to help find a cure for the disease.

Heidi said: "Swimathon is such a fun and simple way to encourage people to dip their toe in the water and get swimming, all while supporting two incredible charities.

"The dedicated fundraisers who support these important causes are the real heroes."

Swimathon has raised more than £52m for charities since it began in 1986.

Alison Birkett, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the South West, said: "We hope everyone will grab their caps and swimming gear and sign up now.

"Each length participants swim will help make a difference to people affected by cancer."

Organisers hope the Swimathon will raise more than £2.2million for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie this year.

Mark Winton, head of community fundraising at Marie Curie, said: "Swimathon has raised millions for charities including Marie Curie, which has enabled us to provide care and support to more people living with a terminal illness and their families. We are proud to be part of such a prestigious and much-loved event."

The Swimathon takes place from March 27 to 29 at pools across Portishead, Weston and Clevedon.

To sign up, and to find out which centres are hosting the charity event, log on to

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