A PARISH minister who survived cancer twice is urging Scots to sign up for a swimathon.

Rev Julie Moody, a minister from Milton of Campsie Church, will join her children Esther, nine, and Josiah, 11, to swim 500 lengths at Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre this month in support of Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

With the countdown to the Paris Olympics, the 51-year-old is encouraging pool lovers to ‘go for gold’ by raising funds for the two charities.

Swimathon 2024 is known as the world’s largest annual fundraising swim. It will take place from April 26 to 28 at venues across the country.

Rev Moody's call to action emerges from her struggle with cancer.

In 2015, she discovered a lump in her breast while still nursing her five-month-old baby.

Two years later, after treatment and reconstruction, she found another lump in her breast.

She had more surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hospital stays, and time away from her young children.

Rev Moody's children began swimming with the local swim club four times a week and she got involved through taking and watching them.

She said: “Once I took it up, I found swimming to be very liberating. When I saw the Swimathon on Facebook, I thought – what a great activity to do as a family.

"I’ve done sport fundraisers before, I have run the London marathon twice, but the Swimathon is unique because it’s not just for adults.

"It is a beautiful thing that my children can participate in raising money for something that affects so many people, including some of my friends.

“I’m so grateful for the treatment that saved my life and to all the medical staff who helped me recover.

"My experience means I understand all too clearly why events such as Swimathon are so crucial to help fund the work of charities like Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie, which rely on our support.”

Sign up for Swimathon 2024 at https://www.swimathon.org/enter-now.

The event welcomes participants of all abilities thanks to a range of swim distances on offer, from 400m to 30.9k.

Participants can register as individuals or teams.

If people can’t make it to one of the organised sessions, they can sign up for MySwimathon which takes place until May 5.

They can choose a time and venue that suits them.

£2.50 from the entry fee of everyone taking part at an official Swimathon venue is donated to help protect these pools for the future.