A woman who has survived breast cancer twice as well as a tumour in the nerve system is urging people to take the plunge and swim for charity.

Danielle Almond, a 32-year-old from Hornchurch, is now fit enough to swim more than two miles in under an hour to raise money during Swimathon 2023 for Cancer Research UK and the Marie Curie end-of-life charity.

She was diagnosed with stage three cancer in 2017. Further scans picked up a tumour that develops in cells of the neuroendocrine system.

“It felt like tunnel vision,” Danielle recalled. “Everything was moving around me.

“It was horrific. A-million things go through your head, but you have to deal with it.”

Danielle wants to make a splash and get people joining her in the world’s largest annual fundraising swim for the two charities.

Organised sessions are being held from May 12 to 14 at pools all over the country, including in east London and Essex.

Swimmers can also sign up to MySwimathon from April 28 to May 21 and choose a time and venue.

Cancer Research UK’s Michael Jarvis said: “One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime, but we can support research to help beat it. 

“Our scientists have been at the forefront of cancer research for 120 years, from proving the link between smoking and cancer to laying the foundations for modern radiotherapy — and we’re not stopping now.”

The annual Swimathon has raised £55m for charity since it began in 1986.

Danielle, meanwhile, is having scans for at least the next 10 years. She hopes sharing her story will inspire people to get off the starting blocks and support the charities.

“It’s been a tough few years,” she admits. “There have been days when I could’ve given up, but I have good support from family and friends.”

Leisure centres close by where a “swimathon” is held are Harrow Lodge in Hornchurch, Central Park in Harold Hill, Sapphire in Romford, Becontree Heath in Dagenham, Fullwell Cross in Fairlop, Abbey in Barking and the Brentwood centre. Other leisure centres taking part include Chingford, Loughton, Ongar, Waltham Abbey, Basildon and Wickford.

Supporters can sign up online at swimathon.org