Atlantic bid for Kat Cordiner as crew set off to 'live like never before'

St Neots’ Kat Cordiner with crewmates Charlotte Irving, 31 and Abby Johnston, 32.

St Neots’ Kat Cordiner with crewmates Charlotte Irving, 31 and Abby Johnston, 32. - Credit: Atlantic Campaigns

Inspiring pictures show three women – including St Neots’ Kat Cordiner – setting off on their 3,000-mile row across the Atlantic. 

Kat, 40, was given her second diagnosis of cancer during lockdown last year. 

Along with crewmates Charlotte Irving, 31 and Abby Johnston, 32, they set off on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge on Sunday (December 12). 

St Neots’ Kat Cordiner sets off on her 3,000-mile charity row across the Atlantic. 

St Neots’ Kat Cordiner sets off on her 3,000-mile charity row across the Atlantic. - Credit: Atlantic Campaigns

They aim to raise £100,000 for Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. 

They will make the crossing in a 25ft boat called Dolly Parton.  

Kat, who was told her cancer is incurable, knows her time is limited but remains undeterred.

Even the Duchess of Cornwall heard about the girls’ attempt and was moved to hear that Kat is in treatment for stage four ovarian cancer. 

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St Neots’ Kat Cordiner sets off on her 3,000-mile charity row across the Atlantic. 

St Neots’ Kat Cordiner sets off on her 3,000-mile charity row across the Atlantic. - Credit: Atlantic Campaigns

The trio will be at sea for up to 60 days – unsupported – rowing two hours on and two hours off continuously from December to January. 

If something goes wrong, they can only be helicoptered out in the first or last 200 miles.  

Kat, who now lives in London, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in March 2019, completely by chance as she was having her eggs harvested in the hope of having a baby in the future.  

Kat underwent a radical hysterectomy but doctors left her ovaries as she wanted to do another round of egg-freezing.    

The news came just after Kat had returned from taking part in the 2018 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, where she met Abby and they came up with the idea of the Atlantic row.  

St Neots’ Kat Cordiner sets off on her 3,000-mile charity row across the Atlantic. 

St Neots’ Kat Cordiner sets off on her 3,000-mile charity row across the Atlantic. - Credit: Atlantic Campaigns

After the surgery, all seemed well. But last June, Kat began experiencing stomach pains.  

“My doctor talked about other possibilities like infections but I knew instantly the cancer was back,” she said.  

After the exhausting intensive cancer treatment, heart surgery and six months without training, Kat got back in the boat.  

Kat is now in remission and only taking drugs to deal with the effects of being plunged into an early menopause.  

Kat added: “To me, this challenge also represents something more – to live like I’ve never lived before.”