Britain’s para-rowing team wins gold days before third round of cox cancer treatment
Great Britain clinched gold at the European Para Rowing Championships in Munich yesterday – led by a coxswain who was diagnosed with cancer just three months ago.
Erin Kennedy MBE, 30, discovered she had breast cancer three months ago but refused to let it dash her team’s dream of winning a medal.
She swore, “Cancer will not define me or my career.
Speaking after the event, she tearfully explained that her teammates Frankie Allen, Giedre Rakauskaite, Ed Fuller and Ollie Stanhope had been hugely supportive since the diagnosis.
She said: “Today was very emotional for me. I’m really holding it together. I’m just very proud of the team. It’s a lot for me to bear but it’s also a lot for them. have picked up each time.
“My oncologist is totally fine with that, so don’t worry. I’m not running away from her and hiding it from her.
The team finished the coxed coxed 2000m PR3 final four courses in seven minutes 6.73 seconds, a whopping 19.33 seconds ahead of France.
Kennedy has already undergone two rounds of chemotherapy and will now step away from sports to undergo more treatments.
She told the BBC: ‘I’ve had two rounds of chemotherapy so far. I’m getting off my flight on Tuesday for an oncology appointment and taking blood for chemotherapy on Thursday. So this will be my third round. And then at the end of the month, I will have the fourth round.
“From then on it will be every two weeks and then I will have weekly treatment for 12 weeks. It’s a sabbatical, it’s not a break. And, it’s alright, I’ll be back racing next spring and I’ll fight everyone who says I won’t.
Kennedy, a Paralympic gold medalist and multiple world title holder, admitted that when doctors revealed she had cancer, her first thought was how it could keep her out of the water.
She told Olympics.com: “Really, I was like, ‘What about rowing because it’s a fundamental part of my life?’ It’s not something I ever want to get away from. I don’t I wasn’t just going to go home and sit and wallow.
Now she keeps the Paris 2024 Olympics at the forefront of her mind and uses them as a subject to focus on during her recovery.
“If there’s anything that motivates me to improve, it’s to come back and take this crew to Paris.”
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