Community fundraiser Catriona Ling took a massive plunge in 2018, when she undertook a nude ocean water swim to raise money for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
The ‘skinny swim’ was by no means Catriona’s most confronting challenge – just six years earlier, her daughter Harriet was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma when she was just 17 years old.
Harriet was treated at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, where she was one of the first patients to receive a 3D printed titanium hemi pelvis implant. This innovative treatment spared Harriet from having to undergo a leg and partial pelvis amputation, a common treatment for this aggressive cancer.
“The fabulous staff at Lifehouse not only saved Harriet’s life – they enabled her to have a life,” says Catriona. “Lifehouse cared for our entire family and treated Harriet as a person, not just as a patient.”
In the lead up to the swim, Catriona undertook some (swimwear-clad) open water training sessions, including one memorable session where she became ‘robustly and comprehensively stung’ after swimming into an armada of bluebottles.
“Fortunately I was in my swimsuit,” Catriona says, “the mind boggles – and the eyes water – to think what the experience might have been like had I been nude!”
Catriona’s brave baring-all was brilliantly received by her friends and family, and she managed to raise over $7000 for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
“I am very happy to do anything for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse,” says Catriona, whose daughter is now living well and studying her first year of Postgraduate Medicine.
“As a family, we are delighted to give back as much as we can.”
|Catriona before her nude swim|
|Catriona's daughter, Harriet, at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse|