Emma's 100-mile swimming challenge in aid of nephew with leukaemia

11:20am Wednesday 15th January 2014

By Daily Echo Reporters

TO SWIM 100 miles in just 100 days would be a stretch for most.

But one Hampshire woman has got all the motivation she needs – she is swimming in aid of her nephew.

Ten-year-old Zac Giles, of St Peter’s Street in Bishop’s Waltham, was diagnosed with leukaemia last June and has been courageously battling his way through chemotherapy ever since.

And with the help of his loving aunt Emma Giles, he’s getting all the support he needs.

Ms Giles, 44, of Bar End Road, Winchester, said: “It’s the one sport I can do well and I do quite regularly so I thought I’d try doing 100 miles in 100 days because I wanted to do something for Zac.

“I obviously didn’t give too much thought to what I was getting myself into, because when I tell people what I’m doing, most people think I’m barmy!”

Zac, who hopes to join his friends at Bishop’s Waltham Junior School ready for the next academic year, said: “I’m really proud of my aunt for doing so well.”

Ms Giles hopes to raise close to £3,000 for the Magic Wand Appeal, a charity raising funds to improve the children’s unit at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, and the Piam Brown ward in Southampton General Hospital, where Zac has been receiving treatment.

She was cheered on by her brother Guy, 41, Zac’s dad, as well as his mum Dawn, 42, and his little sister Amelie, eight, when Emma swam more than 22 miles on Saturday.

Dawn said: “Zac has been really brilliant and has put everything he’s got into getting better.

“He’s sat there watching his aunt swim wishing he could just get in there with her and join in the fun.

“It’s a really important cause and there’s so many other families who are going through this too.

“We would urge anyone considering donating blood or bone marrow to look into it because it really does save lives.”

For more information or to donate to Emma’s fundraising attempt, visit virginmoneygiving.com/EmsGilesswimming100milesin100days.


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