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Aquagirl swims for Ruth Myles Day Unit

22nd June 2018

This summer St George’s Hospital Charity has gained its very own fundraising superhero. Aquagirl, more commonly known as Peggy van Rooyen, is undertaking a series of open water swimming challenges in aid of the Ruth Myles Day Unit at St George’s Hospital as her mother receives treatment there on a regular basis.

The unit specialises in the treatment of a range of blood disorders including, but not limited to, cancers of the blood. Peggy’s fundraising will make a vital difference for patients, helping to supply new state of the art equipment, facilities, ward improvements, and additional staff training that is above and beyond what is usually supplied.

In April 2016 Peggy’s mother received a diagnosis for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. It is a rare and aggressive type of cancer with a high rate of recurrence in the years preceding treatment.  Fortunately Peggy’s mother is doing well and is still in remission at the two year mark. She now receives treatment at Ruth Myles on a 4 week cycle and is determined to make it to her 80th birthday in December 2019.

Peggy was full of praise for all those working on the ward. She said: “When my mother was first diagnosed I took time off work to keep her company during her many, many medical appointments. So I am very familiar with the Day Unit and the caring, good-natured, all-round-excellent staff there. My mother received amazing care.”

What makes her fundraising even more remarkable is that before she started training Peggy had not swum for any sustained distance for six years. She had also never done an open water swim before.  Yet her first event in Windermere earlier this month went well and she is looking forward to all of the challenges until her last in September.

Lizzie Wilson, Community and Events Fundraiser, said: “We can’t thank Peggy enough. We wish her every success as she tackles the open waters of Scotland and Northern England. Everyone working on the Day Unit was delighted to hear about her support. It will have such a huge impact for patients being treated there.”

If you would like to sponsor Peggy you can do so by visiting her JustGiving page. You can also make a gift to the Ruth Myles Day Unit directly by visiting this page on our website.

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