Cancer researcher swims English Channel for charity

19th June, 2019

Chris Trethewey, a clinical researcher at Leicester University, will attempt a wetsuit-free crossing of the English Channel this July in support of local charity Hope Against Cancer.

Completing the challenge is a long-term goal for Chris, who grew up in Cornwall: “From a very early age, I have fantasised about completing the 21 mile stint across the channel,” he said.

A keen swimmer since his youth, Chris’s training has included pools swims of 15 km or more and frequent cold-water swims at Stoney Cove Diving Centre, near Leicester, where he has found a supportive a community of open water swimmers.

Chris is using the challenge to raise money for local cancer research charity Hope Against Cancer. Despite the prospect of tough conditions, jellyfish for swimming buddies and the risk of hypothermia, Chris remains optimistic. “My motivation originates from the patients I see daily working at the Hope clinical trials unit and the Leicester Royal Infirmary haemato-oncology unit,” he explained.

Describing his admiration for those that live daily with pain and illness, he said: “In my eyes these people are the true heroes. I feel this swim is a mere speck compared to what these people have to manage, and after 12-14 hours of hell I get to rest and repair in comfort.”

The attempt will begin south west of Dover at Shakespeare’s Cliff and end around Cap Gris-Nez, south west of Calais. Chris’s support team includes pilot Eddie Spelling of the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation (CSPF), Chris’s brother Dr Samuel Trethewey and his partner Ella Reynolds who is a nurse. And last but not least: “My partner, Stephanie Kipling arguably has the most important job of all which is feeding me, which may decide if I complete the swim or not!” he said.

Liz Lowe

Support Chris and Hope Against Cancer by donating via his fundraising page

Follow Chris on Instagram @channel_swimming_scientist

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