Young swimmer backs blood cancer cure appeal with 1,000m charity dip

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A young swim star has made a splash to raise thousands of pounds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity, in support of a relative being treated for a rare form of blood cancer.

Isabelle Ready, aged 7, from Chesterfield, completed a 1000 metre sponsored swim for the Cure Myeloma Appeal, after her aunty was diagnosed with the disease in January.

Isabelle’s dad, John, is so proud of how Isabelle pushed herself, having only ever swum 400m because she wanted to raise the money to try to “help her aunty”.

He said: “Isabelle’s aunty started to feel unwell a few months before Christmas. She went to see the doctor a few times because she was having a pain in her back.

“Just after New Year she went back to the GP as she knew something wasn’t right. She was sent for a scan at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital where they diagnosed a tumour on her spine.

“She had an operation a few days later, where she was put under the care of Haematology Consultant Dr Andrew Chantry. She was diagnosed with myeloma quite quickly and her treatment plan was discussed. It was then that she was given details about his quest for a cure and as a family we were trying to figure out what we could all do to help.

“We all chatted about the possibility of cake stalls, sponsored walks and sky dives, but Isabelle wanted to help too, as we told her that the money raised would go towards making lots of people, like her aunty, better.

“She was taking swimming lessons at the time so we suggested a sponsored swim. She had never swam more than 400m before so after speaking with her teacher we asked if she practiced we could maybe get to 1000m.

“Her instructor said with a lot of determination it was possible, so she set out practicing for a good few weeks. She completed the swim five days after her seventh birthday, and smashed her one hour target with energy to spare.

“During this time her aunty started a six month course of chemotherapy, followed by a stem cell harvest for a potential stem cell treatment at a later date. She has also just started a five week course of radiotherapy. Thankfully she is on the road to what we are hoping is a long term recovery.

“Isabelle and her aunty are incredibly close and she was so proud that she did something to help. We are staggered by the amount she has raised, friends and family were amazingly generous, and even people that didn’t know her or her aunt also donated, raising more than £3,100 to help the fight against myeloma.”

Dr Andrew Chantry, haematology consultant at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and his team have been undertaking vital research which has the potential to completely eliminate myeloma – finally leading to a cure.

Isabelle raised more than £3,100. To donate funds to cure myeloma, visit Click her