Written by Bodger
Everyone has a story. Sometimes it’s a story about a friend or a relative, a colleague or an acquaintance, and sometimes it’s their own. If you think about it, none of us has to look far before we find a story about cancer in our lives, somewhere. Karen Waterworth’s story is about her. Or rather, it isn’t. The Cotehele Quay rower is taking control of her cancer by focusing on how we can all do something to help everyone, not just her.
Since receiving her own diagnosis in June, Karen has been determined to do all she can to not only beat her own cancer but help others fight theirs, too. Karen is an advocate of routine screening for all, which may have saved the life of her late husband Dave. He died eight years ago, aged 52, from prostate cancer, having only been diagnosed 17 months before. An ex-Royal Marine, Dave never lost the commando spirit and was a very fit person, but it’s clear to Karen and others like her that no amount of physical and mental fitness can beat regular, comprehensive testing.
As well as spreading the word about screening, Karen has also set up a JustGiving page to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Her target is a modest £500 and she’s already half way there. She says, “In 2013, three years after my husband died of prostate cancer, I started gig rowing. In 2015 I rowed the Great River Race and decided to use this to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and I raised £1,026. I just felt that not only was this in memory of my husband but it would help to save other people’s husbands and fathers.
“Scientists around the globe are working on how to treat all cancers but scientists and research cost money. For all those who have raised money for Cancer Research UK in the past I say a big ‘thank you’ as your money is now helping me to fight my cancer. I don’t intend to sit back and let cancer win this fight, I’m going to keep doing as much as I can to fight this disease and I will not let it stop me rowing. I intend to have as much fun as I can with my gig rowing family while trying to raise money and awareness of this awful disease.
“Gig rowers are amazing. Out on the water we are warriors who will fight (well, not fight, but row) until we are exhausted and can give no more, then back on the beach we are just one big family. Imagine if that big family came together and those warriors took on cancer. I think I would bet on the gig rowers to win. People have been very kind and generous donating to my Just Giving page. Some are rowing in this year’s Great River Race for Cancer Research UK and asking people to sponsor them. No matter how small your donation, please give a penny or a pound and help to fight cancer.”
Karen intends to do more over the coming months to raise money and awareness. This will not only help her but also give hope to others as well. Karen’s social media pages tell us more than just a personal story; they tell us how ending cancer can be part of all our stories one day. If you want to contribute, please go to JustGiving Page . To see how Karen’s getting on and keep up-to-date with her fundraising activities, please go to Girlinaboat Facebook .
Good luck, Karen!