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Conifer cancer survivor makes swimming history in Europe

Posted at 5:38 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 21:07:54-04

CONIFER, Colo. — A Colorado cancer survivor has succeeded in her remarkable quest to swim across the English Channel four times in a row.

Sarah Thomas, who is from Conifer, completed the feat Tuesday morning after more than 54 hours of swimming.

“We started at midnight on Sunday the 15th of September. We finished on the 17th. Why not?” Thomas said.

The 37-year-old became the first person to cross the unpredictable English Channel four consecutive times.

“We went over and swam it once,” she said. “I kind of thought I would go back someday to do it more than once, and then as I did longer swims, I started to think four would be very possible.”

She actually booked her boat back in April of 2017, with the plan to do it four times, but a cancer diagnosis almost derailed that.

“I have triple-negative breast cancer, which is a really aggressive form of breast cancer,” she explained.

She beat cancer and set her sights back on the water. Thomas dedicated her swim to other cancer survivors.

“A lot of people with my cancer diagnosis, since I’ve only been out of active treatment for a year, thought maybe I should push it back a year,” Thomas said. “And I said, ‘I don’t want to do that, because I don’t know what’s going to happen in a year.’ I know right now I’m good.”

She is already starting to think about her next big swim.

“I don’t feel compelled to do another channel swim,” Thomas said. “There are lots of bodies of water out there.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report