Updated: Tuesday, 17th September 2019 @ 1:06pm

Manchester rowers set to take on gruelling 26-mile relay race to raise pancreatic cancer awareness

Manchester rowers set to take on gruelling 26-mile relay race to raise pancreatic cancer awareness

By Richard Manning

A decorated rower and mum of five is set to pick up her oars and take part in a gruelling event to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer tomorrow.

Dr. Gaël Tavernier, a research scientist at the University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM), has organised a row-athon, the distance of a marathon, at Wythenshawe Hospital.

This is following news that four separate Warrington Rowing Club J14 squad members have lost a parent or grandparent to pancreatic cancer which has the lowest survival rates of almost every cancer.

Team Coach Dr Tavernier said: “It’s been quite a tough time having so many of our squad dealing with pancreatic cancer and I wanted to do something to focus our efforts as well as raise awareness of the disease.”

Approximately 4% survive the disease for five years or more – a figure that has barely changed in over 40 years.

Dr Tavernier understands the importance of research and patient care as she has worked as a research scientist at the Trust’s North West Lung Research Centre (NWLRC for the last 16 years.

“I have arranged a joint charity event between the NWLRC charity and Pancreatic Cancer UK where my rowing squad and I will be rowing the distance of a marathon on a rowing machine,” she said.

The team are aiming to establish four junior British records by rowing the full marathon distance of 26 miles in relay teams.

Dr Tavernier will be also trying to beat the British marathon record in her individual category which currently stands at 3hrs 05mins 51s.

She has already collected two golds for the club at every National Masters Championships since 2008 and has won the Henley Masters each time she’s participated.

Warrington’s first ever Olympian rower Rick Egington, who won silver and bronze medals at the Beijing and London Olympics, contacted the club to express his support and wish them well.

Visitors and patients are welcome to attend the event at the main entrance of Wythenshawe Hospital on Tuesday February 19, starting at 10am.

To make a donation visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/wtnmarathon

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