Bedford man to take on North Sea swim to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support

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Julie Sims
Julie and David

On Christmas Day this year, David Sims will be taking on a charity challenge to raise £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support, in memory of his wife Julie.

Julie passed away on 24 July, aged just 61, after battling breast cancer.

To raise vital funds for the charity David will be taking to the North Sea in Suffolk for a Christmas Day swim and you can sponsor him here.

“In September 2001 at just 42 years of age Julie was diagnosed with breast cancer,” said David.

“After a mastectomy and radiotherapy she was eventually given the all clear in 2008. However in September 2010 Julie was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer – the same strain of cancer had returned but this time in her stomach area.

“An immediate course of chemotherapy followed and again in 2016 along with more radiotherapy all in an effort to keep the disease at bay for as long as possible. By this time we knew it couldn’t be cured.

“The pain and stress was only really lightened by seeing our children growing up and getting married and the arrival of our fabulous grandchildren – Harry in 2014, Rose in 2016, Stanley in 2017 and Arthur in 2018. A fifth is due in February 2021.”

In January this year, Julie’s condition worsened considerably and in June the family was told there was nothing more that could be done.

Julie and David met 42 years ago and were engaged less than four months after they’d first set eyes on each other. They celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary last year.

“In recent years we became enamoured by the Suffolk seaside town of Southwold and went there at least two or three times a year,” explained David.

“For the past three years we have spent Christmas in Southwold, hiring a big house so that all the family can come and spend Christmas together. We are booked to go again this Christmas.

“On Christmas Day there is an annual Southwold Christmas Day swim in the sea for charity. Sadly this year it has been cancelled due to Covid-19 but I will be doing my own personal swim in the sea on Christmas Day and am doing so to try and raise as much money as I can for Macmillan Cancer Support.”

Explaining what Macmillan Cancer Support means to him and the family, David said,  “During her last few months with us, the Macmillan Cancer Support people were fantastic and I really do not know what we would have done without them.

“It is entirely thanks to them that Julie got her wish and when she passed away it was at our home surrounded by her loving family.”

To sponsor David’s charity swim, please visit the JustGiving page.

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