I’m Swimming the English Channel To Support Medecins Sans Frontieres

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At the end of June 2014, I’ll swim the English Channel with members of the medical world to raise funds for Medecins sans Frontieres or Doctors Without Borders. It’s the first time I’ve asked for financial help on Frog Mom and I’m proud I’m doing it for such a worthy cause. It’s also an incredible physical challenge for me and I’ll need all your moral support and high fives to get through it. I know that most of you, my readers, read Frog Mom because you believe in raising happy children who thrive in this world. If it breaks your heart to read every day in the news about families in war zones or children who get the brunt of war violence and poor living conditions, then I’m asking you to help.

You can help by donating on this page. On that note, I know that a few of you from the US have had trouble getting their card processed and the fundraising website suggested a few fixes:

  • Clear cache and cookies
  • Try a different browser
  • Don’t write your country or your postcode (zipcode). Just enter your address (street address, town) manually.

Hopefully that should work. If not, drop me a note and tell me the exact problem so I can address it.

Please contribute whatever you can and forward this post to your family, your friends, and the people you know who care about the safety of families in war zones. Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) is an amazing organization and I completely support their mission to make the world a better place. Whether it’s in Sudan, in Jordan or in DRC, the brave doctors of MSF take great risks to help families get the medical treatment they need.

You do that and I’ll do my part of the deal by swimming the English Channel.

Here are some of the challenges I’ll be facing:

– the water is cold – very cold. On average, 14 to 18C/57 to 64F and I won’t be wearing a wetsuit or a thermal neoprene swim cap. English Channel rules are ruthless: regular swim suit, latex swim cap, swimming goggles. That means I’ll have to work hard to get acclimatized to cold water and fend off hypothermia.

– I might have to swim in a sea with force 6 wind or 2-meter high waves. I’ve never encountered such high seas, even if I got a taste during my Alcatraz swims. This promises to be epic.

– I’ll swim across pools of jellyfish, floating seaweed or flotsam – not my favorite but not the things I’m most scared of.

– the swim is long – 21 miles coast to coast, without counting the ebbing tide and the currents. The swim is likely to last more than 14 hours. As I’m part of a team of 6 in 5th position, every 5th hour in the crossing will see me in the water.  I’ll be swimming from hour 5 to 6, from hour 11 to 12, and possibly from hour 17 to 18.

– I might get seasick and that’s something I really hope won’t happen because swimming while being seasick ain’t fun. I have a history of being seasick on ferries but I’ve been OK swimming in choppy seas so far. I hope I’ll be fine.

That’s just for starters. As you can see, swimming across the English Channel is a big challenge and the trickiest I’ve attempted so far.

The planned swim is now seven weeks away and I started training seriously by the end of March. I’ll update you with more details in due course but until then, you can follow my training on my Twitter feed where I post my swim logs and other English Channel considerations.

Thanks for reading and thanks for helping Medecins Sans Frontieres!

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Laure Latham

Laure is an author, environmental advocate, blogger, open water swimmer and now mother. She's passionate about inspiring families to enjoy the outdoors with their children, learning to unplug and living a healthy lifestyle, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Frog Mom.

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