THE manager of a supermarket swapped the checkouts for the sea when she completed a tough challenge in aid of a breast cancer charity.
Sharon Noble, the manager of Asda at Fareham, decided swimming the Solent would be the perfect way to celebrate her 50th birthday – and honour the memory of a beloved aunt who died of breast cancer.
The swim, from the Isle of Wight to Gosport, also marked eight years since Sharon’s breast cancer diagnosis and 20 years of the Tickled Pink Breast Cancer Care campaign.
Together with other members of the Solent Sharks swimming club, Sharon raised more than £1,000 for Tickled Pink.
She said: ‘It was much harder than I thought it would be.
‘The water was 15.4C (60F) and the currents were much stronger than they were supposed to be.
‘A year ago my aunt finished her treatment and within eight weeks she died.
‘That was the only point for me throughout my cancer experience that I got really low.
‘Everything I feared happening to me had happened to her.
‘I felt so many different things. I felt guilty and relieved it wasn’t me. I wanted to dedicate this swim to her.
‘In the last five minutes of the swim I was really struggling with emotion.
‘I was trying to hold back the tears so it didn’t mist up my goggles.
‘It was a combination of lots of things – waiting for so long to do it, the achievement of having done it, knowing why I was doing it and to have my family there with me, it was really emotional.’
Asda stores across Hampshire have helped to raise thousands of pounds for Tickled Pink in recent years – and customers can help support this year’s fundraising efforts either by making a donation online or in store.
Launched in 1996, Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign has raised more than £48m to support breast cancer charities Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now.
For more information go to your.asda.com/tickled-pink.