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Former GB swimmer raises money for #TeamIrfon

A Ysbyty Gwynedd nurse who is a former GB Swimmer, says she’s taking part in the Team Irfon Swim Challenge next month to thank the NHS staff who have been caring for her ‘Superhero’ Dad.

Last year Amy Spencer’s Dad was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer with metastatic spread to his bones, at the age of 58.

However, with the help of the amazing Oncology Team on Alaw Ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd, he has had a remarkable response to chemotherapy and hormones. It means he has a real fighting chance to live a longer life than previously thought.

To thank the team on Alaw Ward, Amy, 32, decided to take part in this year’s Team Irfon Swim, on September 10, swimming two miles in open water from Beaumaris Pier to Bangor Pier. A tough enough challenge for any swimmer but perhaps less so for Amy, who from the age of 11 used to swim for Team GB.

“I loved being part of the junior GB swimming squad when I was a kid, the experience taught me resilience, discipline and time-keeping,” said Amy.

“My parents used to take me all over the country for meets and I was competing until I was 17.”

Amy continued: “Now that I’ve moved to Gwynedd from Brighton, what I love is the open water swimming, we have a club at Ysbyty Gwynedd and we meet up once a week and no matter how stressed I am it all disappears when I get into that cold water.”

She added: “I must admit it’s going to be quite a challenge swimming the Team Irfon Swim as I’m not exactly a fan of wild sea swimming because you never quite know what’s beneath you!”

Amy has already raised over £2,000 for the Alaw Ward through her JustGiving page and hopes to raise even more.

“I managed to raise £1,000 in just 24 hours but that’s down to how amazing my dad is not me,” she said.

“He’s a full-time carer to my mum who is registered disabled and will do anything for everyone.

“The staff on the Alaw Ward have been incredible to him which we were so grateful for during the pandemic, as we couldn’t be with him during his treatment but when he came out of Alaw after treatment he always had a huge smile on his face and that means the world.”

Amy added: “I must add that without my Mum, Helen, my Dad wouldn't have had the mental strength to get through the last 12 months.”

The Team Irfon Swim was launched in 2014 by CAMHS nurse manager Irfon Williams, after he started treatment on Alaw Cancer Unit in Ysbyty Gwynedd. He launched a campaign to raise money for wigs for others receiving chemotherapy unit.

The swims have so far raised over £20,000 for the North Wales Cancer Care Fund.

If you would like to take part in this year’s #TeamIrfon swim click here to register today.

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