A Galashiels multiple sclerosis sufferer has raised more than £5,000 for the charity which has supported her for over a decade.
Natalie Brown defied her disability to swim one full length of each six Live Borders pools in aid of the Borders branch of the MS Society, raising £5108 in the process.
It was no easy task for the 34-year-old former nurse who was struck down suddenly and severely by MS in 2006. Aged 23, Natalie found herself in an induced coma and having lost the ability to speak, swallow, stand and walk, it took her almost a year to recover.
Now living back in Galashiels with her parents Anne and George Brown, Natalie decided to give something back to the Borders MS Society which supported her through this time.
She said: “I have been so lucky with all the generosity of everyone I have encountered throughout this and it has been very encouraging, something that drove me forward to want to complete the full duration.
“I couldn’t have completed this without my support crew who came to the pools to cheer on me, the very helpful pool staff and my two pool assistants who kept an eye on my in-pool wellbeing.
A wheelchair user, Natalie had to use a noodle float to help her complete each self-propelled length, swimming one each month until the start of this year.
Natalie added: “Thank you to everyone who has helped with this and to Live Borders for making it go a lot smoother than it could have been.
“This huge bonus of funding to the MS Borders Group will help out so much.”
“I am very grateful for all the help I have received from Live Borders pools they have made the epic challenge seem a little less daunting. I have had great help with each swim from each pool I was swimming at but I would like to say a big thank you to Aidan (Eyemouth staff) who very kindly (with very little prior warning) filmed my swim at Eyemouth pool and Stephanie Common (Teviotdale staff) who kindly filmed and also gave a running commentary on my length in Hawick.
“The MS Borders Group and the Scotland Society have been very helpful in assisting me with this challenge too. I especially I would like to thank Anne Weston and Judy Eglington who kindly came to film in the pools.”