EARBY woman Nicola Haines challenged herself to swim the equivalent width of the English Channel as part of a £10,000 charity fundraising target and was joined for the last few miles by her brother, Matthew and sister, Leanne Duckworth.

Nicola has been raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support since early 2012, when her dad was diagnosed with larynx cancer. Earlier this year, he had to have a kidney removed, due to cancer, but Nicola says he is still going strong, and is now planning a holiday to Africa.

She initially set herself a target of £3,000, but has more than doubled it, and with £9.240 in the bank, she needed one more challenge to take her to £10,000.

Nicola challenged herself to swim the length of the English Channel - 22 miles - and as a member of Pendle Leisure Trust, has swum most of the 1, 416 lengths at Pendle Leisure Centre in Colne.

But the last 50 lengths she carried out at the pool in Barnoldswick, with her brother and sister, so they could complete it as a family.

Over the last eight years, Nicola has completed Peru’s Inca Trail, a 26 mile walk up and over the Yorkshire Three Peaks - Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, and a two mile swim of Lake Windermere.

She said: “I’m not going to lie, it has been tough, testing and tearful; but one thing I do know is my family, friends and the Macmillan staff have all been amazing.

“ My main focus for all this has obviously been my dad, but I also want people to know they are not on their own and support is out there for whenever and whoever needs it.”

She added: “We have had a few ups and downs along the way – but we have an amazing dad who is still going strong. After receiving the five year ‘all clear’ at the beginning of 2018, the dreaded cancer returned in the September, which this time meant him having to have part of his voice box removed.

“We finally got dad home on New Year’s Eve 2018 ready to start 2019 which we named ‘the year of recovery’. Little did we know cancer was still doing its round and causing problems in dad’s kidney.

“In August this year dad had to have his kidney removed. But he was now talking – and booking a holiday with mum to Africa.”

She now hopes the year will end with her passing the £10,000 target. “I never expected to raise £3,000, let alone be so close to that £10,000 mark. It would be amazing to finish 2019 off on a happy note with dad on holiday with mum and me smashing my £10,000 target.”

To help Nicola raise the last few pounds, donate at: swimit.macmillan.org.uk/fundraising/just-keepn-swimming