Leah tells of emotional challenges of seeing a loved one go through cancer therapy


The first British Asian woman to swim across the English Channel has spoken of the emotional challenge of watching her father go through gruelling cancer treatment.

Leah Chowdhry’s dad, Jeff, was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia six years ago and needed six months of tough chemotherapy.

The experience drove her to want to help improve future treatments for other cancer patients, so she began fundraising for Cancer Research UK (CRUK). Her Channel swim raised £105,000 for CRUK.

Now, in her new book ‘Making a Splash’ she aims to raise more money for ‘Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People’.

Leah, 29, runs a childcare event company called Pop up Party & Play and lives in Victoria, central London. She said: “My dad was diagnosed six years ago. It was so shocking. He needed chemotherapy and it was hard. He was nauseous, he was exhausted, he couldn’t leave the house. He got through it, but it was hard.

“At the time, there was a drug being developed on a clinical trial but dad couldn’t join it. However, six years on, because of continued research, the drug is available and he is now able to have it. It isn’t chemotherapy, it’s a targeted treatment and it means he just has to take two tablets a day, so not the debilitating experience he had before.

“The drug, acalabrutinib, will basically keep him alive, and we are so grateful for that.”

Leah launches the book in London on March 3, with support from football manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, JLS singer Aston Merrygold and singer and former EastEnders actress Preeya Kalidas.

Included in the book is a Q&A on her Channel swim, which answers the questions from inquisitive young minds like ‘Were there sharks?’ and ‘Did you wee in the sea?’, It also includes suggested activities and exercises for turning negatives into positives.

Leah aims to raise £35,000 for Cancer Research UK.

She recently become a campaigns ambassador for Cancer Research UK and aims to set up a Business Beats Cancer group which will draw together other like-minded business people, to raise money for the charity’s life-saving research.

Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of Cancer Research UK, said: “Leah is a much-valued supporter of Cancer Research UK.

“We’re delighted and grateful she has decided to continue to support the charity. The proceeds of the sale of Making A Splash are pledged to Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People, where the money raised will be ring-fenced to fund research to improve survival and reduce long-term side effects for children and young people with cancer.

“Our vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. In the 1970s fewer than a quarter of people with cancer survived. During the last 40 years survival has doubled and today half will survive their diagnosis. Our ambition is to accelerate progress and see three quarters of all those diagnosed surviving cancer within the next 20 years. “With the help of people like Leah we are moving closer to that vision every day.”

Author: desi123

Desi123.com is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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