Alzheimer's Society

Alzheimer’s Society is transforming the landscape of dementia forever. Until the day we find a cure, we will create a society where those affected by dementia are supported and accepted, able to live in their community without fear or prejudice.

Charity Registration No. 296645

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Can we swim 20 miles in just 30 days?

Shared between 2 of us, we each will have to swim 805 lengths inside 30-day time limit. That's a grand total of 1610 lengths or about 100 times around Old Trafford football pitch.

Why are we doing this?

Dave and I have different challenges to overcome, but we also have something in common, we want to conquer them. I want to beat my phobia of water and Dave is working on his rehabilitation. We are using our story to help raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer's Society. The idea for this challenge came when I came across the Alzheimers society's Swim for Dementia challenge.

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Hi, I'm Stephie and I have a phobia of water.

After years of suffering from an awful phobia of water this April, I decided to learn to swim to help my partner with his recovery and to overcome a phobia at the same time.

Dave's accident has been a real jolt for us and kick-started some serious ambition to tick off some bucket list items.

For me, that's conquering my fear of water & learning to scuba dive. Dave and I started to swim daily, after much practice and determination, the panic attacks started to become less frequent and I've started swimming further, faster and more confidently.

Swimming 10 miles is going to be a massive challenge for me, but I have set my goal and I will get there. Becoming a strong confident swimmer will enable me to pass my PADI diving certificate, so this challenge is going to give me such a boost forward & helping raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer's Society is such great motivation.

Dave Kai Piper
Dave Kai Piper

Hi, I'm Dave and swimming is a vital part of my rehabilitation.

Last October I had a nasty motorbike accident that resulted in a limb-threatening injury. However, after three operations, a skin graft and an intramedullary nail in my tibia, we are working hard for a positive future with my leg still attached.

As you can imagine, the complexity of the injuries has led to many range & strength problems. Swimming is a vital aspect of my rehabilitation and therapy (both physical and mental)

Swimming for me is predominantly an upper-body activity at the moment, but, is amazing for gaining strength in the leg and building range of movement too. Swimming 10 miles is going to be an extreme challenge and to be honest, I am not sure if I can do it, but, there is only one way to find out.

What happened on the 18th of October.

I was headed home after teaching a CBT motorcycle lesson, when I took the Daventry Road towards Memorial Park, Coventry. After I had navigated a busy junction, a car pulled out. It hit me in a "t-bone" collision connecting with my lower left leg, then the rest of the bike. This smashed both my tibia and fibula. After the collision, the car left me on the floor. I saw them drive away. I didn't know what to think, I just knew I didn't want to die then and there, on the road with people watching. I felt humiliated and hurt, but I knew I had to stay calm. I remember the first person to get to me. "You've been in an accident," she said. "Is it broken?" I said. I could feel there was something wrong. It was the lack of major pain that I remember being a worry to me. There are 'open' fractures and 'closed' factures, I had a mixture of both. The compound fractures (open) are the most severe ones. Because the bones went through the skin, infection is a big risk. The next problem was the extent of the fracture. The bones were in many bits, not just clean breaks, this meant multiple operations. This is quite common for my sort of trauma though.

(i) Comminuted fracture of the left lateral tibial plateau.

(ii) Open left comminuted fracture in the mid tibial shaft.

(iii) Fracture of the left distal tibia.

(iv) Fracture of the left distal third of fibula.

(v) Fracture of the left fibula at the level of the distal syndesmosis.

Over three operations, the team at UHCW used an ex-fix and Vac dressing to stabilise everything during the debridement (cleaning of the internal wound).

My second op was a check-up and extra cleaning before an intramedullary nail was placed. This nail is more like a rod that fits down the middle of my bone and will be in for life. Can I feel the nail? Nope, in fact, due to the massive soft tissue damage & swelling, I have no feeling in the lower leg, but some feeling in the foot and rear of the leg. It's unsure if/when this would change, but it's not going to be soon, it's important to remember that this is all very normal with this sort of injury. 

How does this work?

The original challenge is to swim 10 miles. That works out at 16100 meters. At The Warwickshire's 20-meter pool, it works out at 805 lengths each for the challenge. 1610 lengths in total. We will start our journey on the first of August and have 30 days to complete this challenge To recap, we are both swimming the 10 miles, in other words, our goal is to do a combined 32200 meters.

We both have different goals and feel we both have a better chance of getting there with each other's support.

What your fundraising will support

£300 means over 1,800 people can access Talking Point, our online forum. Here people can learn from each other experiences, share their frustrations and their knowledge of local services.

£95 provides a telephone-based Dementia Adviser for a full day. Providing essential support to those affected by dementia

£15 turns four ordinary citizens into superhero Dementia Friends!

There is a stigma attached to living with dementia and Dementia Friends facilitates societal change, helping people understand the impact on people’s lives

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