Sisters Katie and Lucy McLernon completed the ardous Lakesman Triathlon, in Cumbria, in a bid to raise money for charity.
The duo, who live in Bull Lane, Acton, swam for 2.4 miles, cycled 112 miles and ran a marathon… the first time they had ever taken part is such an event.
And their efforts have so far raised £1,826 for the My WiSH charity, which supports the West Suffolk Hospital.
They wanted to do something huge as they hope to raise as much money as possible for two charities that are very close to their hearts and a triathlon seemed nothing compared to the journey that their 52-year-old mother Carole had.
In August last year she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and was given a week to live if treatment wasn’t started immediately, so Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s Oncology and Haematology Specialists commenced treatment and she had a week of intensive chemotherapy as an inpatient.
Everything went as planned for the first two weeks, but then, due to her lack of immunity she contracted pneumonia which escalated quickly and less than 24 hours later she was admitted to the intensive care unit.
But when she was well enough to be woken up she was unable to move her right side and after a brain scan it became apparent that she’d had a stroke.
Carol, a former riding instructor, was then moved to West Suffolk Hospital Stroke Unit for three weeks, where she received intensive physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy, learning to walk and talk again.
It was a fight against time because although the cancer was in remission it could return at any moment but three weeks later she was just about strong enough for the next round of treatment.
Twenty-eight-year-old Katie, who works as a physiotherapist, and her 25-year-old sister, a jeweller, chose to raise money for Bloodwise as it is the leading UK blood cancer charity, and MyWiSH, with money going to the stroke unit, where fans have already been purchased for the G8 ward.
“We were looking for something big to do to raise money for the two charities and we thought it would be good if we did something which had beautiful scenery.
“The triathlon was painful, long and tough but we had lots of supporters,” said Katie who completed the course in 14 hours 9 mins while Lucy’s time was 15 hours 54 minutes.
“When my mum was in the West Suffolk Hospital she went from not being able to do anything to making vast improvement and she has come on leaps and bounds and the thought and care from the staff was outstanding.
“We were blown away by the generosity of people and we have smashed our target. Mum is so much better now and the cancer is in remission and she is continuing to improve from her stroke.”
If you want to donate to the sister’s cause then visit their website at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=teamdouble0lemon or go to the Virgin Money website and search for McLernon.
Pictured above at the West Suffolk Hospital are, from left to right, Claudia Olhero, lead physio; ward sister Jo Floyd; Katie, Carol and Lucy McLernon and Rosie Tulloch, lead physio.