Friends train for Channel charity swim

Johnathan Raven and Sarah Raven who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer PNL-160202-144239001
Johnathan Raven and Sarah Raven who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer PNL-160202-144239001

An intrepid group of swimmers will take on the English Channel in support of a friend who has developed an extremely rare form of cancer.

Sarah Raven, 29, has been diagnosed with Gastro-Intestinal Neuroectodermal Tumour (GNET) and is one of only 60 known cases in the world.

Johnathan Raven and Laura Fisher in training to swim the English Channel PNL-160202-144227001

Johnathan Raven and Laura Fisher in training to swim the English Channel PNL-160202-144227001

To raise money and awareness of the condition, husband Jonathan Raven and five of their friends are preparing to swim about 5.5km each of the 32km from Dover to France.

Jonathan, 30, said: “We are aiming to raise £15,000 but none of us are open water swimmers so we are putting in eight months training around our full-time jobs.

“We’ve booked the support boat and will set off between August 23 to 30, depending on the weather.”

Former Bedford High School pupil Sarah, nee Fisher, was first diagnosed with cancer when she was just 25. She is undergoing chemotherapy as doctors pool what little information there is about GNET from around the world.

Jonathan said: “It is very, very tough for her. So little is known about the illness and, because it’s not a profitable disease, no pharmaceutical companies will invest in researching a cure.”

The group is splitting any money raised between Cancer Research, which will direct it to studies into rare sarcoma, and Bedfordshire charity Above and Beyond Cancer, which supports people with cancer.

To sponsor the group, go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/swimforfish