Ironman challenge for sisters in aid of two life-saving charities

Katie and Lucy McLernon who are raising money for tow charities which helped their mum, Carol.
Katie and Lucy McLernon who are raising money for tow charities which helped their mum, Carol.

A Bury St Edmunds physiotherapist is to take on a fund-raising challenge of a lifetime - inspired by her mum.

Katie McLernon, 28, is going to attempt an Ironman challenge with her sister Lucy, 25, in support of two charities which helped save their mum’s life.

In August last year, Carol McLernon, 53, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and was given just one week to live unless she received immediate chemotherapy.

Following the intensive treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Carol then developed pneumonia which left her in a coma.

“Mum was in an induced coma for five weeks and it was absolutely terrifying,” said Katie.

“She was on steroids so strong, doctors said they would either kill her or save her and it was touch and go all the way.

“When she came round, , she couldn’t talk, walk or even turn over in bed.

“A brain scan revealed she had also had a stroke.”

Carol, who previously went to aerobics three times a week, pilates twice a week and was a riding instructor, recovered enough for a second dose of chemotherapy.

She has since had three more and is back at home in Long Melford, being looked after by her daughters.

Katie and Lucy are now in training to take part in an Ironman event, called the Lakesman Triatholon, in Keswick, Cumbria, on June 18.

The challenge will see them swim 2.4 miles in open water, cycle for 112 miles and run a marathon, within 17 hours.

They are raising money for West Suffolk Hospital’s My WiSH charity and Bloodwise a UK blood cancer charity.

They hope to donate the money to West Suffolk Hospital stroke unit, where Carol was looked after.

“Neither of us have done anything like this before apart from ride a bike when we were young and swim a couple of lengths, while on holiday,” said Katie.

“We have been training though for six months by swimming three times a week, cycling and running twice a week and we have just started open swimming, in a lake.

“It has been the thought of this challenge which has kept us going, giving us a focus during everything that has happened over the past few months.”

To donate, visit: uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search Mclernon