Colette Swindells

"My name is Colette Swindells and since 2016, I have been diagnosed with cancer three times."

I remember being quite calm when I was given my diagnosis, more so because the surgeon already had a plan in place, but the thought of telling our children, 17 and 15 year olds at the time was quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Gallbladder cancer has a really low survival rate, it tends to affect much older people and symptoms only tend to show at later stages of the disease, so to hear the news I had cancer and a type that is incredibly rare was devastating, especially as I was a relatively fit and healthy 46 year old.

I thought Clatterbridge would be a scary place, now I’m in year seven of my dance with gallbladder cancer and I’m so grateful for the expertise of these fabulous people, particularly Professor Dan Palmer and Dr Faluyi and it is research, supported by your kind donations that has kept me alive and continues to develop new ways to treat people just like me.

The only limitations I have are the ones I impose on myself, so I took on the charity Abseil (even though I’m scared of heights) as a way of saying thank you for always being there, for always being kind, for always making me feel like a person and not a number.

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