In completing his Channel swim, he raised in excess of £500,000 for "Hope for Guernsey", the local fundraising branch of Wessex Medical Research, a charitable trust based in Southampton which raises money to support vital medical research into a range of diseases, including cancer.In August 2012 I will be attempting to swim the English Channel, albeit at half the age of Roger. However, in selecting a charity to raise money for through my swim, Hope for Guernsey was a natural choice. Let me tell you why I think it is so important.
Wessex Medical Research operates within the Wessex region which covers Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Isle of Wight, Guernsey and Jersey. That said, the work it does benefits everyone. In recent years it has undertaken research which was specifically aimed at the Channel Islands in respect of infant asthma, childhood cancers, meningitis, and macular degeneration (the most common form of blindness in older people). For the past six years the research has been focussed on prostate, breast and other forms of cancer.Everyone knows of at least one person who has suffered from or has lost their life to cancer. Roger Allsopp's fantastic fundraising achievement enabled Wessex Medical Research to purchase a state of the art mass spectrometer for their cancer research team in Southampton. This piece of equipment is allowing the team to discover new things about cancer at a much faster pace than they would have been able to prior to its purchase. My goal is to raise funds through my Channel swim to keep that piece of equipment running so that the research team can play its part in fighting this viscious and indiscriminate disease.
In the same way that the money raised by Roger Allsopp was ringfenced by Wessex Medical Research to purchase the mass spectrometer, the funds I hope to raise will also be ringfenced for the running costs of the mass spectrometer project.Finally, a little bit about me. I'm a 37 year old Guernseyman who swam for Guernsey as a child, but who then discovered rugby and beer as a teenager. I didn't swim again until 2010 when my older brother talked me into a 3 mile open water swim to raise money for Help For Heroes. After that swim, which was completed in an orthopaedic boot after I severed my right Achilles tendon, I found that I just couldn't stay out of the water. Last August, I became the fourth person (and the first Guernsey person) to swim around Guernsey, a distance of 21.1 nautical miles. That convinced me that I could take on the English Channel and I'll be sitting in Dover between 8-16 August this year, waiting for the right weather and the right tide to have a go! Please keep your fingers crossed for me! If you would like to track my progress once I start swimming, then you should be able to do so via the following link to my GPS tracker:
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