Jeanette Ager Braves the Thames Marathon Swim for Prostate Cancer Research

On the 13th of August, Jeanette Ager is taking part in the Thames Marathon swim to raise vital funds for Prostate Cancer Research and help us in our mission to create a world free from the impact of prostate cancer.

Jeanette is a professional singer at the Royal Opera and a keen swimmer who was inspired to throw herself in at the deep end (literally). Jeanette was inspired to turn her hobby into a fundraiser for a friend, colleague and all the men affected by prostate cancer.

We chatted with her to learn more about her upcoming challenge and the advice she’d give to anyone thinking of taking on their own fundraising.

What was your journey to taking on the Thames Marathon? Have you always been a keen swimmer?

“I swam when I was younger and then I used to do triathlons but the worst element for me was always the swimming. I joined a group that focused on open water swimming, and we trained together. them were taking part in races and I just thought… I want to try that, and I want to start with a big one! So, I signed up for a 13km swim in 2019.”

Wow, and how did you find that?

“It was easier than I anticipated.  I found that as long as I trained and swam for a couple of weeks, I could manage it. I entered last year but I only trained about two swims in the whole year and that was hard work – but in 2019 I trained properly and it was much easier, there was a whole hour’s difference between my 2019 and 2022 swims.”

What inspired you to turn the challenge into a fundraiser?

“I was made aware that many of these events have marshals who volunteer for free because participants are taking part to raise money for charity. I suddenly realised I was being a bit selfish just doing it for myself! I remember a famous triathlete saying to me in training once, always try and do it for charity. That was when I realised why it was important to fundraise.

On a personal level, this is my first time fundraising for Prostate Cancer Research. A friend and colleague’s husband recently died from an aggressive form of prostate cancer. She hasn’t been able to come to work where most of her friends are and she’s been a bit isolated from us all. I asked her if I could fundraise and take on this challenge on their behalf. She’s has something positive to focus on, and with friends and relatives making donations I hope she knows that we are thinking of her.

You set up your fundraising page on Facebook and the donations took off, can you talk a bit about how you spread the word?

“I often work for the Royal Opera and it’s a big family… it’s heaven every time you go to work, a job you adore and loads of friend around you. Many colleagues have become involved and donated. It’s our way of showing that we’re thinking of her.”

Could you turn your hobby into a fundraiser?

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst men, with 1 in 8 men receiving a diagnosis in their lifetime, and that number increasing to 1 in 4 for Black men.

Too many men are needlessly dying of this disease, or they are rushed to making decisions about treatment that aren’t the best option for them and impair their quality of life.

Change is possible, and every day our talented researchers are making discoveries that lead to groundbreaking treatments and therapeutics. But we can’t get this research from the lab to the patients without your help.

The exciting news is, you can help by turning your hobby or passion into a fundraiser today! Are you a keen swimmer, cyclist or runner looking to push yourself and take on a challenge? Are you an avid reader, a keen cook or a master Twitch streamer? Whatever your interest, we’d love to help you turn it into a fundraiser.

You can check out our website to discover our running and walking events and get inspired and organise an event of your own with our A-Z fundraising guide. Or if you’re all ready to go, you can fill in our registration form, tell us all about your fundraiser and we’ll be in touch to help.

Whether you’re organising an event big or small, running 26 miles or 1 mile a day, we’ll be there to support you every step of your fundraising journey – you’ll also get your own free PCR t-shirt, vest or cycling jersey and branded merchandise to help with your fundraising.

If you ever want to get in touch to chat about fundraising or learn more about PCR, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line on [email protected]. We’re here to help!

We can’t wait to welcome you to #TeamPCR.

P.S – good luck Jeanette, you are a PCR Legend!

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