A HARDY teenager from Rustington will be braving the fast-flowing waters of the River Arun to help her disabled neighbour’s fundraising quest.
Tess Lauretani, 14, will be swimming 5,000m – more than three miles – to show her support for courageous 11-year-old Molly Green, who suffers from a life-threatening lung condition.
Tess, a student at The Angmering School, will be taking on the challenge of swimming from Tortington to the RNLI lifeboat station, in Fisherman’s Quay, on Sunday (September 29).
She said: “Molly lives opposite me and I felt I had to do something, I love open water swimming so I am determined to do this for her. Please support Molly by supporting me.”
For experienced swimmer Tess, the challenge is not necessarily the distance, but the conditions in the water. The tidal flow will be intense and will sap the energy from her muscles. On top of that, she will have to contend with near-zero visibility in the river and chilling water temperatures.
However, Tess feels confident she can achieve the distance.
She is a member of the Littlehampton Swimming Club and is the 2013 female junior Raw Energy Pursuits Rive Arun 3.8k Iron Man champion.
Molly’s mum, Nichola, is now urging people to come along and cheer Tess on. She said: “Tess is such a lovely and brave girl for taking on such a big challenge.”
The money raised will go towards the ‘Helping Molly’s House’ campaign to redesign their home in Barwick Close, and improve the quality of Molly’s life.
Nichola added: “The ultimate goal is raise £20,000 to accompany an award granted by the Arun District Council to have a downstairs bedroom and bathroom built for Molly, so when she’s ill she can still be part of the family.”
To help the campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see the website www.facebook.com/mollygreensroom