Warwick Boat Club rowers set for challenge with a personal motivation

Left to right: Victoria Malcolm, Polly Scurrah, Taine Ranaghan, Olivia Joyce, Lloyd Smerklo, George McDonnell, Jonny Messling, Nicolas Masson, and Barry Meatyard (Cox). Photo supplied.
Left to right: Victoria Malcolm, Polly Scurrah, Taine Ranaghan, Olivia Joyce, Lloyd Smerklo, George McDonnell, Jonny Messling, Nicolas Masson, and Barry Meatyard (Cox). Photo supplied.

Rowers from Warwick Boat Club will be taking on a 21.8km challenge for a charity close to one of the rower’s heart.

Olivia Joyce, 30, from Barford, will be joined by other rowers for the Great Ouse Marathon, which passes through Norfolk and Cambridgeshire on September 1, to raise money for Lymphoma Action after her mum Sharon, was diagnosed with lymphoma after years in remission.

The team (pictured) joining Olivia will be: Barry Meatyard (cox), Nicolas Masson, Jonny Messling, George McDonnell, Lloyd Smerklo, Victoria Malcolm, Polly Scurrah and Taine Ranaghan on the thirteen-and-a half-mile challenge.

Olivia said: “We wanted to row a half-marathon as a personal accomplishment but then my mum was diagnosed in July and we thought we could raise money too.

“Many of us have never rowed that distance but we would love to beat the course record and complete the half marathon in under one hour 40 minutes.

"My earliest memories are of my mum having cancer treatment when I was about seven or eight. I remember her being rushed to hospital in the middle of the night because she couldn't feel her legs.

"Turns out it was a tumour. She was in and out of hospital for many years which for young children is quite traumatising.

"We lived in France when she was first diagnosed .We also had the language barrier to contend with making the diagnosis and treatment even more stressful. We didn't have close family around so we relied very much on each other for support. Charities such as Lymphoma Action weren't as available back then.

She went into remission about 20 years ago and has continued to be in and out of hospital since.

"Anything that showed up on her skin was promptly removed by a dermatologist in case it was cancer again.

"Then about a year ago, lumps started to develop in her neck. The doctors didn't seem too concerned at first but decided to remove them in July.

"The results came back and the lymphoma had returned. We are waiting for more results on September to then decide on the treatment she will be undertaking.

"I'm getting married next summer and want nothing more than my mum to be there celebrating with us.

"My mum is overwhelmed with the support for the challenge. A cancer diagnosis is always scary and knowing Lymphoma Action are there to support us is a great help.

So far Olivia has raised more than £600.

To donate click here or go to: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OliviaJoyce1