Adventurous fundraiser Chris Bond, from York, will be taking on the challenge of a lifetime and swimming the English Channel to raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.
The remarkable challenge, which has only ever been completed successfully by 1,619 people, will see Chris swim the 21 miles across the cold, open-water of the English Channel un-aided.
Chris will be swimming in memory of Shaunagh de Boinville, from Hampshire, who died from breast cancer earlier this year. Chris, who has known the de Boinville family for twenty years, has taken on a number of challenges in his life, including swimming from Southampton to the Isle of Wight last year for another cause, but this will be the most poignant. Here he tells us why he's taking on this incredible feat.
Earlier this year, I lost a great friend, Shaunagh, after a ferocious four year battle with breast cancer. She was inspirational in every way as a friend, wife, mother and driving educationalist at her Montessori School. I taught all her children years ago when I was a teacher in Hampshire and I've been friends with the family for a long time. I decided at her funeral that I wanted to do something more for this extraordinary lady.
I am swimming for Breast Cancer Now, as the charity was very dear to Shaunagh, in her determination to ensure that research into this devastating disease continues in order to prevent other women suffering as she did. Shaunagh was an incredible talent, creative beyond words and someone who inspired so many to achieve their full potential and wildest dreams. By doing this swim the de Boinville family and I hope to ensure that Shaunagh’s inspirational spirit and love of life lives on.
This is a challenge I have been considering for a long time. I watched a black and white film when I was six that was about a man starting his swim across the Channel, and it really stuck with me. This challenge will be extremely tough but the perfect way to raise money for such an amazing woman. My challenge will take place in September, with the exact date depending on weather conditions. In the meantime, I am embarking on a gruelling training schedule of cold, open-water swims, to ensure I am ready for the difficult swim!
I have set up a Justgiving page and hope to raise £10,000 in memory of Shaunagh.
If you would like to take on a challenge for Breast Cancer Now but can’t decide what to do, please visit our events page for inspiration, or call our Supporter Engagement Team on 0333 20 70 300.