Heather takes the plunge with year-long sea swim challenge

1 min read

A woman living with the lifelong effects of a brain tumour is diving into a year-long sea swimming challenge. 

A daily dip will form part of Heather Turner’s routine for a whole year as she embarks on her 365 Sea Swim Challenge to raise awareness for Brain Tumour Research. Her first two swims took place on Friday (23rd June), coinciding with our Wear A Hat Day with Flowers. 

She turned to open water swimming as a form of therapy after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1996. 

“In a way, this year-long challenge is a way of raising awareness and remembering the old me. I have come so far and for more than half my life have navigated the after-effects of a brain tumour diagnosis and I want to celebrate everything I can do,” Heather said. 

After being diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma at the age of 24, Heather had surgery, but complications caused nerve damage leading to life-long difficulties including facial palsy and the loss of sight in one eye. 

She added: “Open water swimming has been a therapy for me. My brain tumour left me with facial palsy and troubles with my balance. As soon as I get into the water these issues almost wash away. I don’t have to think about balance, I feel supported and free.  

“It’s incredibly important to me to raise awareness of the lack of funding into brain tumour research. My hope is by taking on such a lengthy and scary challenge people will take note of this and want to be part of the solution and support those who are facing their own diagnosis and make the outcome better for those who are diagnosed in the future.” 


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