Published: 06:00, 10 September 2021
A woman is hosting sponsored water aerobics events to raise money for two cancer charities close to her heart.
Julie Hornsby, who lives in Leysdown, on Sheppey, is keen to support Bowel Cancer UK as her husband Lee was diagnosed with the disease in December 2019, and Breast Cancer UK after her friend, Brenda Parsons, died from the illness, aged 53.
The 51-year-old, a pool manager at Harts Holiday Park in Leysdown, hosted the first water aerobics class last weekend, while the second one will take place this Saturday.
She wants to raise at least £2,000 for the causes, which work to find preventions, treatments and, ultimately, cures for the diseases.
Mr Hornsby was diagnosed with bowel cancer just three months before the first national lockdown was put in place.
Mrs Hornsby said: “Lee was told he had piles for a year before he was diagnosed, because he wasn’t showing any other symptoms.
“When they eventually found the tumour, it was the size of a golf ball.”
Mr Hornsby, 52, was initially told he had just six weeks to live.
But, thankfully, specialists at Medway hospital found a surgeon at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital that could operate.
“If he didn’t have the operation, he would’ve had six weeks to live,” Mrs Hornsby said.
“It was awful. We had to isolate for near enough a year because of Covid and he had the operation last August.”
Mrs Hornsby, who has five sons and 13 grandchildren, said her husband went down to just eight stone, but was getting better. He now has to have a urostomy and stoma bags.
The first water aerobics event was in aid of Breast Cancer UK and those taking part were all women, aged from 30 to 60.
This weekend’s class, which will start at 5.15pm at Harts Holiday Park, will be carried out by men, aged from 20 to 60.
Mrs Hornsby, who runs water aerobics, swimming lessons, Tai Chi and more at the park, will be leading the classes, while those taking part will be sponsored to do so.
She said: “Cancer is close to everybody.
"Everybody who owns a caravan on the park either knows someone who has suffered from cancer or died of it.
"These events are all about raising awareness for others to get checked out, and raising money for these charities to continue doing the fantastic research they do.”
She added: “I’d like to say thank you to everybody who has supported these events.
"Also a big thank you to Woody’s Fish and Chips shop, The Price Is Right, Leysdown Bakery and Mr India, which will be making donations to the causes, and Graham Benham for being our photographer.”