Costessey mother's swimming challenge in memory of baby who died from cystic fibrosis
PUBLISHED: 11:39 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:08 01 November 2017
Archant Norfolk 2017
A mother-of-two will be attempting a mammoth charity swim in memory of a friend's baby who died from an inherited disease.
Jo Wharam, 42, from Breydon Drive in Old Costessey, is raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust on November 11 by swimming 10,000m of the London Aquatics Centre, on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Mrs Wharam, who has an 11-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl, has to complete the challenge in the 50m pool within five hours.
She is supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Trust because her friend’s eight-month-old daughter, Molly Snelling, who was born in 2001, died from the genetic disorder.
Mrs Wharam, who works two days a week for a lettings agency, said: “Molly would have been 16 this year. I know she was eagerly anticipated and it was unknown that her parents were carriers of the cystic fibrosis gene. It was a real shock when she was diagnosed and the disease snowballed quickly. Molly had a severe condition. It was a roller coaster journey for her family.”
Molly was cared for at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
Cystic fibrosis is caused by a faulty gene which controls the movement of salt and water in and out of cells.
It forces a person’s lungs and digestive system to become clogged with mucus, making it hard to breathe and digest food.
There are over 10,500 people with cystic fibrosis living in Britain and the average life expectancy of someone with the condition is 29-years-old.
Two million people in the UK are carrying the faulty gene without realising it
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust supports sufferers of the condition and their families as well as doing vital research.
“It is such a fantastic charity,” Mrs Wharam said.
By the time she tackles the inaugural Marathon Swims challenge in London, she would have spent 150 hours in the pool during her four-month training schedule.
She will be joined by scores of other amateur swimmers raising money for different charities.
“I’m really excited about doing the swim at the Olympic venue,” Mrs Wharam added.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com and search Jo Wharam.