Family in the swim to raise funds

This trio will be taking the plunge for a cause very dear to their hearts.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 7:00 pm
from left, Catherine Miller, Kath Miller and Alison Fairbairn are doing the Great North Swim

Kath Miller and her two daughters – Alison Fairbairn and Catherine Miller – will dive right in to a challenge next month, to help raise funds for a vital piece of equipment for Kath’s great nephew, Sam Billington.

Six-year-old Sam, of Garstang, has Cerebral Palsy and quadriplegia, and needs a new specialist electric wheelchair which will allow him to move around different terrain and not have to rely on being pushed all the time.

Sam was born 10 weeks early and was on life support for eight days. He has no use in his legs or arms and no use in his left hand. He is also unable to stand or sit.

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So Kath and Catherine, of Preesall, and Alison, of Kirkham, decided to take on the Great North Swim, in June, in lake Windermere – under the banner Swim 4 Sam.

The Extreme X8 Terrain powered chair would allow Sam to move around much more freely – especially on his family’s farm.

Kath, aged 54, has lost 4st recently, leaving her feeling fitter than ever and wanting to take on a physical challenge.

Kath said: “My eldest daughter did the Great North Swim last year, for the Second Skin Cerebral Palsy Blackpool charity.

“After losing a lot of weight, I lost 4st, I wanted something to aim for this year.

“My eldest daughter said she would do it again and along the way we picked up my other daughter too.

“Sam, who is my great nephew, needs a special all-terrain wheelchair.

“He is a bright little boy, and he gets frustrated as he watches his two sisters running around and playing on the farm.

“This chair would help him to be supported to play out and to be like his sisters.

“It would really be fantastic for him.

“I’ve pushed him around in his wheelchair on the farm and it is so difficult.

“This would really make such a difference and give him some independence to move around.”

Through various fundraising efforts and events last year, the family has already raised a good sum of money towards the fund, but more was needed to buy the chair.

Training has been going well for the mother-and-daughters team.

Kath will be swimming half a mile on the day of the event and her daughters will both swim a mile.

They have been training at Lancaster University Baths, Carnforth and more recently – since the weather has picked up, Blackpool Wake Park.

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