Lisa Auchinvole, successful owner of tfd health and fitness club in Wantage, Oxfordshire, is attempting to swim the English Channel at the beginning of September. Lisa has been training for over a year for the swim which, dependent upon the weather conditions, will take place on 4th, 5th or 6th September. 40 year old Lisa is undertaking the personal challenge with the aim of raising £10,000 for Action Duchenne, the charity dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Lisa’s childhood friend Trudi Carpenter has an eight year old son, Adam, who is living with Duchenne. The life limiting disease is caused by damage to the dystrophin gene and affects 1 in 3,500 male births in the UK.
Under the rules of the Channel Swimming Association (founded in 1927), Lisa’s swim must be undertaken from Dover to Cap Gris-Nez in France, in just a swimming costume, hat goggles and grease, accompanied by a pilot boat. The boat helps to steer a safe path through the waters and provide food and drinks (with no direct contact) during the swim, which takes an average of 12-15 hours, starting in the early hours between 2 am and 3 am.
During her training Lisa has been getting used to swimming front crawl for long distances in lakes, rivers and the sea across the UK, in water averaging 15 to 17°c. In June she swam across Lake Windermere and recently from Portland to Lulworth Cove, Dorset – a five hour swim. Her most recent and final training session was a non-stop 12 hour swim in an unheated pool at her own health club.
According to Lisa, “The Channel swim is a challenge for me personally and to raise as much money as I can for Action Duchenne. I am hoping to finish in about 12 hours, but I must admit I am nervous about the recent reports of sharks. I have been asked how I will endure the tiredness and pain - to me it is just for one day in my life, I do not have any of the challenges that Trudi and Steve have every day.
“I was devastated when I learnt of Adam’s condition and wanted to support the family as best I can. This event is just part of a tireless fundraising campaign that Trudi and her husband Steve run to raise money for the charity. Action Duchenne funds vital research and drug trials that could make an enormous difference to the life of Adam and other boys and young men living with Duchenne.”
Trudi Carpenter said; “We are overwhelmed by the support that we have received from families and friends since we received the devastating news of Adam’s condition when he was four years old. Lisa’s commitment to our cause with her channel swim shows us just how much she wants to give her help and support and will be a tremendous achievement.”
The former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies has sent words of encouragement to Lisa, who won medals for Oxford as an under 11 swimmer and was a county competitor in her teens. To donate to Lisa’s channel swim, please visit www.justgiving.com/lisaschannelswim.
Nick Catlin CEO at Action Duchenne commented; “Through the dedication and commitment of our many supporters we are starting to make a real difference. Recent results from trials have shown that progress has been made in combating this devastating disease. It is the tireless campaigning and fundraising from our friends, families and supporters that has made this possible.”