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An American cancer survivor has made history after becoming the first person to swim the English Channel four times non-stop.

Sarah Thomas began her historic 130-mile feat (209 km) early on Sunday morning and finished just over 54 hours later on Tuesday morning at about 6:30am, according to her GPS tracker.

Thomas, from Colorado, was met with cheers by a small crowd and given champagne and chocolate as she reached the shore at Dover for the final time, the Associated Press reported.

She told AP she felt “a little sick” after 54 hours in the water and thanked her husband and supporters for their encouragement.

The 37-year-old was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in November 2017 and underwent chemotherapy, surgery and radiation last year. Thomas had booked her turn to swim the English Channel before her diagnosis and has been pushing towards the marathon swim since her first round of chemotherapy.

Thomas admitted she was scared before the marathon swim. “I’ve been waiting for this swim for over two years now and have fought so hard to get here,” she said in a Facebook post. “Am I 100%? No. But I’m the best that I can be right now, with what I’ve been through, with more fire and fight than ever.”

The swim was supposed to be around 80 miles in length, but because of the strong tides, Thomas ended up swimming closer to 130 miles.

The ultra marathon swimmer dedicated her historic achievement to fellow survivors of breast cancer. “This is for those of us who have prayed for out lives, who have wondered with despair about what comes next, and have battled through pain and fear to overcome,” she said in a Facebook post.

Thomas completed her first open-water event, the Horsetooth 10K in Colorado, in 2007. In 2016, she swam non-stop for a distance record of 80 miles in 56 hours across Lake Powell in the US.

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