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He nailed it . Lake Geneva in the bag

Big congratulations to our member John Royden. He nailed it!

From his blog:

Thank you!

This is probably the final email from the Lake Geneva / The Brain Tumour Charity team. I say team because it was really a team effort. I have had so much support from so many friends, family, other swimmers and work colleagues. And that support came both at (a) a practical level, helping on Dover Beach and at Lake 86 and with fund raising and also (b) from you; helping The Brain Tumour Charity’s donations.

I would also like to mention the corporate sponsors shown below. They should have had their logos henna-tattooed on my back but the two henna artists that I booked prior to leaving London both came down with COVID and then we had to leave in a hurry after getting warnings of delays from Eurotunnel.

The Brain Tumour Charity

Over the last couple of years Sarah and I have been to see a number of The Brain Tumour Charity’s research projects as well as some of their practical initiatives like their recent ‘Better Safe Than Tumour’ signs and symptoms campaign which aims to highlight the signs and symptoms of brain tumours and enable someone to know what to do if they experience any. This will lower diagnosis times for all ages. Catching brain tumours early on, when they are small and easy to operate on with the minimum of collateral damage to the patient drives a better prognosis and quality of life. I have every confidence in telling you that The Brain Tumour Charity’s money has been invested wisely, productively and efficiently. They are a great charity and it is rare to find an organisation with such dedicated staff.

In the winter of 2021, Sarah and I also went to meet brain tumour sufferers who helped us with words and video messages of encouragement. Sadly, they are not all still with us. The experiences were very moving and just spurred us on; particularly as we felt that an earlier diagnosis would have helped and driven different and better outcomes in many cases. One remarkable young woman, Laura Nuttall, has truly inspired us. Against all odds and far outliving her eighteen months expected life after diagnosis, Laura has just graduated from university with a 2:1 degree and is doing very well. However, you can see the devastation to Laura and her amazing family here.

Sally from The Brain Tumour Charity asked me to pass on the following – “Everyone who raises money for the work that we do is truly amazing and we value every single person that does. However, every now and then someone utterly incredible comes along. John and Sarah are just that. What they have achieved in the last two years is absolutely epic. Both the funds and the awareness they have raised really makes a difference to our work and the lives of those who we strive for a cure for now and in the future. On a personal note, it has been one of the most extraordinary and rewarding experiences of my career and certainly a real honour and a pleasure to support them. John and Sarah are clearly very well loved and respected (and it is very easy to see why) and I have been humbled by the outpouring of love and human kindness that John accurately describes.” Thank you, Sally, from a blushing and slightly red-faced John and Sarah.

The swim

The last 28 km (18 miles) pretty much went according to plan, apart from the six-hour wait at the Eurotunnel terminal as we left the UK. And thank you again to Ghislaine Couvillat for lending us her wonderful flat in Thonon and to mother for looking after our dogs.

Shown below are a few photos to help give you a taste of what it was like; although don’t feel guilty if you get bored by photos of me swimming. But please, do feel sorry for the boat crew who had to watch me for 11 hours on this trip and 22 hours last year!! Long distance swimming is probably the world’s least interesting spectator sport.

Map showing the swim last year (2021) and this year (2022)


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