Betty, 88, ploughs on with fundraising feats despite cancer blow
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012
An 88-year-old paralysed by polio is undertaking a charity swimming feat in a bid to conquer cancer.
Betty Brown, from Scratby, who is known for her fundraising adventures was handed the bombshell diagnosis in May last year, but is carrying on regardless as she has always done.
A former deputy head at Greenacre Primary School in Great Yarmouth, Mrs Brown contracted polio aged 18 while at PE college in Leicester.
It meant six months in hospital including a period in a dreaded iron lung, but on returning to Great Yarmouth her former swimming coach tipped her in the pool and told her to get on with it, despite no longer having the use of her legs.
Seventy years later she has not lost her love of the water, and can swim a mile faster than anyone else in the country in her age group.
"Being diagnosed with cancer was a blow," she said.
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"It is inoperable and there is no treatment.
"I have good days and bad days and on the good days I enjoy my life.
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"I could live for quite a while and I am going to do all I can to raise money because the charities need it.
"I have conquered polio and now I will conquer cancer."
Her latest feat is for the Captain Tom 100 challenge and sees her swimming 100 lengths of the Phoenix Pool in Bradwell on successive Saturdays.
Having not been in the pool for two years her initial target was to complete a 100m swim.
Now she has decided to aim for 100 lengths, 2,500m.
During the lockdown she raised £1,600 for Marie Curie doing laps of her garden.
Mrs Brown, who has been raising funds for various charities since the 1970s, said she loved a challenge having sailed on tall ships, ridden in a hot air balloon, and flown in a wind tunnel.
Marie Curie was a very deserving charity, she said, and she had been touched to receive a hand-written letter thanking her for her fundraising efforts and saying: "You were here for us, now we are here for you."
To sponsor Betty search Betty Brown on the Just Giving website.