Gemma takes on a BIG challenge for BTRS

Gemma takes on a BIG challenge for BTRS

Sun 27 October

In memory of her mum Gemma Craven took on the biggest challenge of her life; to swim the length of the English channel.

"My mum was just 44 years old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour" Gemma says. "Between her diagnosis and her passing away there was just six weeks. At the time she left my dad, me who was 18 and my two sisters who were 13 and 15. It was absolutely heartbreaking for our entire family."

Gemma, who is now 41 with two daughters of her own (Isla, 8 and Fern, 6) decided to embark on her swim as a personal challenge. But, she was more than happy to be able raise some money for charity along the way. As well as BTRS in memory of her mum, half the amount raised is going to Prostate Cancer in memory of her father in law John who passed away just shy of his 70th birthday.

"I've always been a strong swimmer" Gemma says, "I must take after my mum who was a very good swimmer competing for Leeds and Yorkshire in her teens."

"I'm enjoying it, but I've found it harder than I thought" she continues, "thankfully the support of my husband Stephen is getting me through. I've not done any training. I just started swimming lengths one day and have built my fitness up by continuing to do it. I swim 40 lengths, three times a week at Armley Leisure Centre."

Gemma started her challenge during the first week of September, and is due to finish it during the week of 23rd November.

So far Gemma has raised an incredible £780.

If you're interested in setting yourself a life changing challenge like this, get in touch with Nicki at

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