Swimathon for Multiple Sclerosis

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SOCIAL Get Together at Irene Dairy Farm
February 16, 2015
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Adjusting to Living With MS
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Swimathon for Multiple Sclerosis

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In Feb 2015 a Swimathon took place at Camps Bay High School. It was just introduced this year for the first time in South Africa and was a great success raising almost R25 000.  6301 laps were swum in 7 hours by 8 teams with the team Cold Water Swimmers winning overall. Team Tin-A-Tude won most spirited. There were about 80 determined swimmers in total.

This will be an annual event to raise money in the fight against MS and to create awareness. Brainchild of Claudia Dieckman, a person living with MS herself made the Swimathon happen with the support of MSSA Western Cape and Bayer. From a 7 year old right to those training for triathons took part, the whole event was amazing.

There are many different awareness drives and fundraisers – it is easy to get involved and support those in need and much needed funds. So whether you swim, run, bike, walk, hike or yoga…you can always do it for MS. The best thing was seeing everyone having a good time! A big push this year is ‘access.’ Access to information and services to those that need it. A huge thank you must go out to the swimmers, volunteers, sponsors and supporters for a fantastic, fun and very successful day!  Keep S’Myelin and keep swimming.
All photos done by Celeste Glass Photography.
https://www.facebook.com/celesteglassphotography

The Swim for MS awareness Facebook link
https://www.facebook.com/swim4ms?fref=nf

 

About Claudia Dieckman – Brainchild of Swim for MS:

I was diagnosed in 2011. I thought I was over stressed (which I was), I thought I was over tired (which I was) but never did I expect to be told I have a disease that would change my life forever.

MS has affected me in a good and bad way. The bad way is obvious, with the physical and emotional challenges and having to learn to manage life in moderation. This was an entirely new concept to me because before diagnosis I was living life in the fast lane by working hard and leading a very active lifestyle.

To say MS has had a positive effect on my life is mind blowing, but hear me out. The disease has really put into perspective my priorities and made me look at life in a less selfish way. I stress less, relax more and enjoy the smaller things in life that used to be taken for granted like reading, cooking and love.

Although life is very different for me know and I am a little nervous about the future, I take each day as it comes.

About Swim for MS:

I have always been a water baby. I swam from a young age and water sports have always been a big part of growing up.

I am so thankful that I can still swim! After diagnosed with MS, I could no longer run, cycle or take part in many of the physical activities I used to enjoy. Being able to do physical things is part of my personality and swimming is a passion.

There is a myriad of research into the benefits of exercise for MS and especially swimming. Swimming provides a cool, weightless environment that I find I am not inhibited by balance problems and weaknesses are less of an issue.

This is what prompted me to want to start SWIM FOR MS. Swimming is my sanity and my lifeline to living the physical life I once knew. Awareness for MS is a priority of mine. Especially when people say “but you don’t look sick”. I’m not! I want others to know that swimming is helping me manage the disease both physically and emotionally.

Charity is defined by ‘doing something you can do, where you are with what you have’. We are blessed to live in a beautiful, warm country and swimming is a life skill most of us grow up learning. I want to challenge myself and others to use swimming as a platform to raise awareness for MS. Be involved. Do good. Make a difference.

So swim for MS awareness. Most people know of someone or are directly affected by MS. Through Swim for MS, you can help them.

It’s easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Choose the activity (what swim event you are taking part in)
  2. Select the goal (number of laps, time challenge or distance swum)
  3. Recruit online donations (use the donations page on www.givengain.com/activist/95475/projects/7590/

and start raising money and awareness for our cause).

Individuals dedicate their own effort/goal towards MS Awareness.

For example:

  1. Sign-up to swim Midmar Mile for MS
  2. You aim to finish the race OR you aim to win the race!
  3. Tell your friends, family, work colleagues and fellow swimmers about the donation page – complete the spaces about the swimmer you are sponsoring www.givengain.com/activist/95475/projects/7590/

OR

  1. Signup to swim 1000 lengths
  2. Complete the distance by 1 July.
  3. Tell your friends, family, work colleagues and fellow swimmers about the donation page – complete the spaces about the swimmer you are sponsoring www.givengain.com/activist/95475/projects/7590/

Multiple Sclerosis South Africa (MSSA) will benefit directly from your dedication to swim for MS.

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