A CHANDLER’S Ford woman took the plunge in memory of her two friends and to celebrate her mum beating cancer.
Samantha Paulton dived headfirst into this year’s Swimathon alongside her two daughters Mya and Alicia to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.
The 42-year-old lost her two friends to bowel cancer just this year, five years after her mum Pam Herrick, 72, was diagnosed.
Ms Herrick has since beaten cancer and Sam was keen to do something for “all the people out there with cancer.”
She said: “This year, I have lost two very good friends to cancer in a short space of time and it has been really tough.
“One was the same age as me with children the same age as mine. The other had just become a grandmother.
“My friends were the unlucky ones but the organisations around them were amazing and I wanted be able to help them to help others.
Swimathon 2022 Sam Paulton, daughters Mya, 12, Alicia, 14, and mum Pam Herrick 14, and mum Pam Herrick
“Having two daughters has also made me worried for the future and having them face this challenge with me shows them that we are strong together no matter what the future holds.
“I understand all too clearly why events such as Swimathon are so vital to support the work of charities like Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.”
Because of her own family history, doctors have told Sam she and her daughters should have check-ups when they are older as a precaution for bowel cancer.
Sam said: “That really hit home. One in two people get cancer.
“I look at my family and wonder which one of us is going to get cancer. That’s why research is so important.”
Swimathon took place from May 6 to 8 at pools and venues across Hampshire and the UK.