Mildura Weekly : Friday December 13 Vol 8 No 7
www.milduraweekly.com.au 88 Mildura Weekly – 13/12/13 • MEGA-MOMENT: It’s a big thumbs-up from Mark Slade, left, and Brad Gowers, two of the swimmers who will be leading teams taking part in next January’s Mildura Mega-swim at Mildura Waves, as a fund-raiser for the MS society. Mark, a long-time MS sufferer, is hoping the 24-hour swim can raise $10,000. WHEN Melbourne’s Carol Cooke was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998, she decided the best way to meet the challenge head-on was to help others. She organised a 24-hour Mega-swim, with the idea of raising enough money – at least a few thou- sand dollars – to help one affected person achieve his or her goals through a ‘Go for Gold’ scholar- ship program. That first Mega-swim, in the Fitzroy Pool in 2001, raised an amazing $22,000, and the swims have been a part of Carol’s life ever since. She de- cided to make it a 24-hour event because living with MS is a 24/7 challenge. “The vision of the Megaswim is to bring peo- ple together to support those with MS in a way that recognises that challenge,” she said. It wasn’t long before Carol brought the idea to Mildura, another in the line of Mega-swim success stories, and recipient of the first local ‘Go for Gold’ scholarship was the inspirational Mark Slade, a MS sufferer who had been confined to a wheelchair for several years until he took up swimming with the Mildura Murray Masters swim club. Mark has since gone on to become a long-term lifeguard and swim coach at Mildura Waves, and is helping organise the 2014 MS Mildura 24-Hour Mega-swim, to be held at the Waves from midday Saturday, January 18. Mark and Carol have a fund-raising target of $10,000 in mind, and have called on teams and individuals from district businesses and organisa- tions to help realise that goal. Mark has been involved in several of the fund- raisers, and says they are a lot of fun, as well as helping a worthy cause. Teams rotate their swimmers, with only one swimmer from each team in the water at any one time. Mildura Waves takes on a carnival atmosphere at Mega-swim time, with music, food and drink available (no alcohol allowed), and swags and/or tents and sleeping bags set up at pool-side. Team captains are appointed to ensure the event runs smoothly, and teams or indivuals are usually sponsored by businesses, family or friends for the number of laps swum. Donations can be made online to swimmers or teams. Funds raised (donations of $2 or more are tax- deductible), go to people living with MS either through the scholarships in the ACT, NSW or Vic- toria, or financial assistance program. The schol- arships allow MS sufferers such as Mark to reach their potential in various aspects of life, including employment, sport, travel, education and the arts. Teams or individuals can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 1300 705 341. People can also pick up a registration form at Mildura Waves, and more information is available on the web at www.megaswim.com FOOTNOTE: MS is a disease that affects the cen- tral nervous system, interfering with the trans- mission of nerve impulses throughout the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. There is no known cause or cure, and MS affects at least 21,000 Aus- tralians, with 1000 people, mainly in their 20’s and 30’s and mainly women, being diagnosed each year. Mega-swim hoping to raise MS ‘Mega-bucks’ Book your Classifieds online It’s Easy and Secure! Just go to www.milduraweekly.com.au and follow the prompts. Your Classifi ed will appear in the selected editions of The Mildura Weekly, as well as online.
Friday December 6 Vol 8 No 6
Friday December 20 2013 Vol 8 No 8