Mum signed up for SAS show while having chemo because ‘it couldn’t be worse’

A mum who appears on TV’s SAS: Who Dare Wins trained for the series while having chemo.

Carla Devlin needed months of treatment and an op after being diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2018.

But the mum-of-four was determined to get on the Channel 4 show and kept going to the gym in between her trips to the hospital.

Four months after completing treatment, she was being put through her paces on a remote Scottish island by the show’s lead instructor, Ant Middleton.

Carla, 40, is one of 25 recruits in the new series of the endurance show.


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She said: “I decided to apply while having chemotherapy. I was watching last year’s show, and this girl went swimming under ice.

“To keep my hair, I had to wear a thing called an ice cap. It was hands down one of the worst experiences of my life – it far surpassed anything I’ve ever done… SAS included.

“I said to my husband, ‘If I can do this, I can bloody well do that’.”

Business development manager Carla, of West London, emailed the show that night, begging to take part.


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She recalled: “I said, ‘It’s five days before my 40th birthday, I’m at rock bottom and I really, really want something to train for post-cancer’.”

Without waiting for a reply, Carla set about training hard – heading to her local CrossFit gym in between chemo sessions.

She said: “I didn’t tell anyone I’d contacted the show but it was enough to make me go to the gym, if I felt able, or walk the kids to school if I could.

“I was an absolute sorry state, but I went.

“In the gym, the music is up loud. All I could think of was how many burpees I was supposed to be doing, or how many press-ups.

“I wasn’t thinking about tomorrow, or how rough I’d be feeling after chemo.”

Carla, who represented Britain in rowing in the 2008 Olympics, is now cancer free.

She said of the show: “It was incredibly challenging, physically and mentally, but I lapped it up. I really think training aided my recovery. ”

  • SAS: Who Dares Wins, Sundays, 9pm, Channel 4

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