Ipswich paramedic Nick Williams ready for Great East Swim 2017 for Macmillan Cancer Support

Ipswich paramedic Nick Williams is taking on the Great East Swim 2017. Picture: GREAT EAST SWIM

Ipswich paramedic Nick Williams is taking on the Great East Swim 2017. Picture: GREAT EAST SWIM - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich paramedic who once weighed over 20 stone is taking on the Great East Swim this summer in his latest fundraising challenge for a cancer charity.

Ipswich paramedic Nick Williams is taking on the Great East Swim 2017. Picture: GREAT EAST SWIM

Ipswich paramedic Nick Williams is taking on the Great East Swim 2017. Picture: GREAT EAST SWIM - Credit: Archant

Nick Williams, 40, has raised thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support after his father Gerry was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2008.

Last year alone, he took part in 76 events, which raised £3,000.

He said: “I was turning 40 in 2016 and decided to take on a series of challenges for Macmillan Cancer Support as it is a cause that is really close to my heart with Dad living with cancer.

“I took on the one-mile distance at the Great East Swim last year and loved it.

“Now I feel a little more confident in my swimming skills, I am going to do the two-mile this year.”

The open water swimming event returns to Alton Water, near Holbrook, on Saturday, June 17.

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Around 3,000 people of all ages and abilities will take part. There are one-mile and two-mile courses, as well as a 10k marathon.

Mr Williams added: “I began running four years ago with my dad as a way of keeping active and once I had managed to run a 10k without stopping, I began to look for a different challenge.

“Since I began to turn my life around with fitness and keeping active I have lost three stone in the process.

“Macmillan Cancer Support have been amazing. They’re an inclusive charity and whenever I am swimming or running an event, it’s fantastic to hear them cheering you on.

“They are like my second family and if I am ever doing an event like the Great East Swim on my own, I never feel alone when they are there.”

Helen Hancock, regional challenge programme manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We are delighted that Nick is taking on the Great East Swim for Macmillan and we’re looking forward to supporting him and all the other Macmillan swimmers on the day.

“We’re hoping to raise £25,000 from the event. This could support our cancer support specialists run the welfare rights element of our phone service for a week, dealing with an average of 394 individual cases and helping secure £959,171 in unclaimed benefits.”

See here to donate to Mr Williams.

And see here to take part in the Great East Swim.

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