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UPDATE – She did it! Bryony completes Great north Swim

20 year old Bryony Smissen has completed the 1 mile open water swim for St John’s Hospice, raising over £1,300 for the hospice charity.

We first told you about Bryony’s amazing challenge for St John’s Hospice back in March this year. Bryony, who has Down Syndrome, was not a strong swimmer at all but wanted to set herself the challenge for a cause close to her heart. After hearing about it, local business owners Ian Bailey at The Runner’s Centre in Lancaster and Ceri Smith from The Aquatic Body, both gave time and support for free, giving Bryony a free wetsuit and open water swimming lessons.

Well, they paid off, because on 9th June Bryony completed the Lake Windermere swim with her brother Rupert, at her side. As mum Theresa watched on, it was an emotional time, “I was a bag of nerves the whole time and I was watching through binoculars. At one point it looked like Rupert was having to hold Bryony up, and I feared the worst, but it turned out they were sharing a hug in the lake, mid swim! I couldn’t be more proud of Bryony and Rupert. As Bryony came out of the water there were huge cheers. I will remember the big smile on Bryony’s face for the rest of my life.”

Asked if she would do the swim again, Bryony wasn’t sure, “I don’t know, I have done it now and I loved having Rupert with me. If I don’t do it again, I will definitely think of something else to do to support the hospice.”

Bryony came into the hospice with her mum this week, to hand in her sponsor money. Lisa Morgan, the hospice community fundraiser who supported Bryony said, “We are all so proud of Bryony. She is a truly inspirational young lady, one we can all learn from. She also absolutely smashed her fundraising target. Well done Bryony!”

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