"It puts your life into perspective" - Dad says sea swimming has helped him with mental strain of cancer battle

A man from Durham says swimming at Seaham beach has helped his mental health after being diagnosed with an immune weakening cancer four years ago.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 6:42 pm
Andrew More sea swims at Seaham beach to improve mental health after he was diagnosed with cancer four years ago

Andrew More, 35 from Durham has hailed sea swimming as a way of finding peace and ‘forgetting about things’ after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer which weakens your immune system, four years ago.

Hodgkin lymphoma is an uncommon and relatively aggressive cancer that develops in the lymphatic system and can cause lumps on the neck, armpit or groin.

The father-of-one, who is currently not undergoing any treatment for the illness, says the mental strain of being diagnosed with cancer has affected him but found swimming in the North sea helps him relax and not worry about battling the stage three cancer.

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Mr More says he is now more outgoing and spends as much time as he can with his five-year-old son Jackson.

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He said: “I really started getting into running when I was first diagnosed but that was more of a physical thing and then I started getting a bit older and unfitter so started swimming.

“Then the lockdown hit and the pools closed so I decided to give sea swimming a go – I just kind of fell into it.

"It was amazing, it’s so relaxing and it helps you feel so much better – all the things you’re worried about disappear.”

The 35-year-old now regularly takes trips to Seaham to swim and says it has ‘completely changed’ his outlook on life.

He added: “I never had any worries about my mental health before the diagnosis but it really puts your life into perspective when something like this happens so now I’m hugely outgoing with my son Jackson.

"I used to be worried about people thought but now I don’t care, cancer can completely change your outlook on life.”

Andrew added that the Seaham swimming community have been supportive – describing them as the ‘friendliest people you’ll ever meet’.

He said: “I usually swim alone but the community of swimmers down there is brilliant, everyone is just as crazy as each other!”

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