Len Bunn, a Parish Clerk from Ashford, is taking on Swim22, the swimming challenge of the year to spread awareness of diabetes and raise funds for us.
Swim22 participants will cover an incredible 22 miles – the equivalent of crossing the English Channel - in three months.
Father of four, Len is taking part in Swim22 because he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1997. He wanted to raise funds for the charity which helped him battle the condition and has raised over £2,000 in the past few years. He aims to reach over £1,000 this time round.
Losing 12 stone has given me my life back
Len, aged 71, said: “A few years ago, I weighed 28 stone and needed a mobility scooter. Gastric bypass surgery was recommended as a treatment option. It was scary but I knew I had to do it. I lost 12 stone as a result of the surgery. I felt like a new person and it gave me my life back. It’s an incredible feeling – my monthly check ups have just been terminated and, for the first time in 11 years, there are no more hospital visits and my weight has stabilised. Swimming has been a great way for me to get active.
“This is the third time I’ve done Swim22 and it’s always hard work – especially as I have to swim every one of the 22 miles on my back! Last year, I completed the Serpentine Swim for Diabetes UK in open water which was a real feat for me.”
Swimming has been a great way for me to get active
People taking on the challenge can swim in their local pool alone or, better still, with family, friends or colleagues. The distance can even be split between a team to make it easier for everyone.
Laura Crow, Diabetes UK’s Fundraising Manager in Kent, said: “Swimming is a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy, have fun and set yourself a challenge. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned swimmer, our team will be on hand to offer swimming tips and fundraising advice. "