‘Water’ great effort for new cancer branch

LOCH SWIM: Jennifer afterher swim (front with blue towel) with Ian's dad (right) and mum (left) Selena behind.
LOCH SWIM: Jennifer afterher swim (front with blue towel) with Ian's dad (right) and mum (left) Selena behind.

A woman who swam across Loch Lomond in honour of her pal who died this year says she couldn’t have done it without having him as her inspiration.

Jennifer Riach (31) took on the challenge to swim the full length of the loch from Ardlui to Balloch (21 miles) with her 62-year-old dad Eddie at the beginning of August to raise money for her friend Ian’s chosen charity - Shine Cancer Support.

It took them 10 hours and 23 minutes and they have raised £9,000 so far.

Jennifer and Ian Fraser worked together as lifeguards at the Allander Leisure Centre in Milngavie when they were at university.

He was diagnosed with cancer of the spine in January this year and underwent chemotherapy treatment which unfortunately was not successful.

He passed away at the end of July aged just 30.

Jennifer, now an interior designer, said: “After Ian was diagnosed he wanted to help others who were going through the same thing as him.

“He chose Shine Cancer Support because he felt there was a lack of support for people with cancer in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

“He realised that people in that age group may need to give up work when they fall ill and they might have children and need help with childcare.

“He was very highly thought of and everyone misses him terribly.

“It’s been a very sad time - to lose someone so young was tragic.

“He put up a brave fight and inspired us all.

“My swim across Loch Lomond was tough and I only managed to finish because I felt I had to do it for Ian.

“A few of us had worked together at the Allander and we’d remained close friends ever since.”

Ian’s girlfriend Selena and his parents welcomed Jennifer on her return from her swim.

Shine Cancer Support now plans to set up a base in Scotland, if you would like to donate please visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/riach