Swimmers raise thousands for cancer research after Erin’s battle

A Kirkcaldy group has rallied round to help raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research after one of their members faced a battle of her own.

Erin, centre, and Keith, right, with the club.
Erin, centre, and Keith, right, with the club.

Kirkcaldy Amateur Swimming Club this year added even more to last year’s total after learning that Erin Sammutt had been fighting breast cancer when she was diagnosed at the age of 26.

Erin has been involved with the club for 22 years, so naturally the group did what they do best and took to the pool with a fundraising swimathon in mind.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

In 2017 they raised an astonishing £16,000 for Cancer Research and Marie Curie.

And after Erin got the all-clear, the group are determined to keep raising funds.

And with this year’s total still to be finalised, the group are adding more to the pile after their Swimathon 2019 on Sunday, March 24.

Erin, a teacher in Fife, said: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. I’ve had all the treatments, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and then I was given the all-clear back in October, so 2018 was definitely a whirlwind of a year.

“It was very special, and very humbling, because throughout the year different friends and colleagues have done fundraising events.

“People really pulled together, so it’s been a really special heartwarming experience.”

Erin’s father, club coach Keith Ireland paid tribute to the efforts of the youngsters who dived straight into the fundraising mentality.

He said: “Last year was the first year. When she was diagnosed, we were looking for something to do and held a fundraiser.

“We think it’s something we’ll do every year. The kids really enjoy taking part in it.

“Nine of them had signed up, but we knew it’d be more on the night.

“A lot of them signed up to 16 lengths, a quarter of a mile, but the majority of them went on to do 64 lengths, or 100 lengths once they got the bit between their teeth.

“It was absolutely tremendous, the kids and the parents were very supportive. It was very moving to see a response like that.”