The mum-of-three with terminal cancer is setting sail

A solicitor who was given just months to live after being diagnosed with cancer has defied doctors by embarking on a lifelong ambition to sail around the entire coast of Britain ­- with her pet dog.

Lori Murdock, 57, began planning the voyage when doctors told her there was no cure for the aggressive form of skin cancer which had spread around her body.

The mother-of-three will now set sail from Falmouth, Cornwall, on board a restored 1950s wooden yacht with her two-year-old dog Betty, who could become the first canine to circumnavigate the UK.

She will stop off at various locations around the country as part of the trip, in which she hopes to raise awareness of her condition and cash for cancer charities.

Lori, who has previously sailed across the Atlantic and to exotic locations like the Galapagos islands, said she became determined to make the voyage happen when doctors gave her just nine months to live last year.

She said: ‘I’ve been fortunate enough to sail to some wonderful places, but I realised that I did not know my own island.

‘Nine months is no time at all so I realised I needed to make this trip happen and I only hope that I’m alive long enough to get all the way around.’

Lori was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in September 2009.
She became concerned about a mole which had changed and reported it to her GP, who failed to recognise the seriousness of the situation and denied her a referral.

Two years later scans showed the cancer had spread to other areas of her body.

Lori, from Topsham in Devon, said part of the reason for the trip was to make people aware of her situation in the hope that other sufferers might get the early diagnosis and treatment needed to combat the disease.

She added: ‘Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer but it can be cured in most cases if you catch it early.

‘I’m hoping that by doing something like this that I can raise awareness and if it helps one person then it will all be worth it.’

Lori, along with her partner Stephen Rodwell, 60, and two-year-old Patterdale terrier Betty, will set sail from Falmouth in May.

They are planning for the trip to include the Round The Island Race at the Isle of Wight and will culminate in the Dartmouth Regatta at the end of August.

The historic 37ft Yeoman gentleman’s racer cruiser was built in 1953 has been restored by Stephen after he found it abandoned and in a state of disrepair.

They expect to be at sea for three months, but Lori says that her dog, is well prepared for the trip after joining her on previous sea voyages.

Lori said: ‘Betty is a seasoned seadog and shouldn’t be too fazed by a few months at sea. We will have to give her shore leave as often as we can so she gets her exercise though.

‘It might sound traumatic for a dog but she loves the boat and she has her own lifejacket which she has been wearing since she was a puppy.’

The team are hoping to raise £10,000 for cancer charities Macmillan, Force and Factor 50.

Click here to visit Lori’s fundraising page

(Picture: Lori Murdock. Credit: SWNS)