Disabled woman to swim for Cancer Research UK

A DISABLED woman who is confined to a wheelchair is to swim two miles to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Julie Christie, who is weaker down the left-hand side of her body following a stroke in 2001 and has a broken neck and a spinal injury as a result of a car accident several years ago, said she was determined to complete the distance despite her disability.

The 55-year-old said she wanted to “encourage other people and let them know that they can push themselves and achieve something”, as well as raise money for the charity by completing the feat at the George Campbell Leisure Centre on November 1.

The former hospital mammographer said she was particularly motivated by raising money for breast cancer awareness after a family member died from the illness in 2009.

“It’s huge,” she said. “It is a very lucky person who hasn’t witnessed or experienced something with cancer, whether it is friends or family.”

Mrs Christie, of Hobart Court, March, started swimming four years ago.

Since moving to March from King’s Lynn, she has become a regular at the George Campbell Leisure Centre, diving in from her wheelchair from the steps on the edge of the pool.

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She is then assisted during her time in the pool by staff from the leisure centre but has had to work on her upper body strength to generate enough forward motion. She also generates power using her right leg.

Until recently she required staff to hoist her out but, thanks to new steps at the pool, can now haul herself out and back into her wheelchair.

She can complete 64 lengths of the George Campbell’s pool per hour and estimates it will take between two and three hours to complete her charity swim.

She hopes to raise �500, having already beat her previous fundraising target by raising �252 so far.

To sponsor Mrs Christie, visit www.justgiving.com/julie-christie2

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