22 May 2024

Lynn pledges to swim 6k for MND

By Sam Hawcroft

A member of a local outdoor water swimming group has pledged to swim 6km this month to raise money to help in the fight against motor neurone disease.

Lynn Massey-Davis, of Patrington, who is a member of the Bright Pink Ladies, said she was undertaking the challenge at Kelsey Lakes in Burstwick during May in memory of a former pupil of hers at Withernsea High School.

Lynn said: “His name was Michael Shimmels – he developed MND and was only in his 20s when he died last year. He deserved so much more life. It is an awful disease.

“I’m trying to raise £150 but any help will be welcome.”

According to the MND Association, the disease causes messages from the motor neurones to gradually stop reaching the muscles. This leads them to weaken, stiffen and waste, which can affect how people with MND walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.

Some with the disease also experience changes to their thinking and behaviour, but it affects everyone differently. Not all symptoms will affect everyone, or in the same order. Symptoms also progress at varying speeds, which makes the course of the disease difficult to predict.

MND is life-shortening and there is no cure. Although the disease will progress, symptoms can be managed to help achieve the best possible quality of life. Everyone has a one in three chance of developing a type of MND in their lifetime and while it more often affects people over 50, young people are affected too.

Lynn added: “I took up cold-water swimming about a year ago and I found it really beneficial to both my mental and physical health because it seems to reduce inflammation in my poor old arthritic knees.

“We often swim alongside birds such as swans, egrets and great crested grebes. The coldest temperature I’ve swum in is 3.6C but now it’s getting much warmer – the other day it was over 10C.

“The Bright Pink Ladies are a group of mature women who get together to do outdoor swimming – we are so called because that’s the colour we are when we take our wetsuits off in winter.

“We really enjoy outdoor lake swimming because it’s a way of combining exercise and stamina-building with enjoyment of nature.”

To donate to Lynn’s fundraiser, visit facebook.com/donate/824697756367244.