A GROUP of determined swimmers are taking the plunge in support of a 12-year-old boy with a rare muscle-wasting condition.

Ten women and three men will brave The Great North Swim in Windermere on Saturday (June 12) in honour of Will Taylor, from Milnthorpe, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Will’s aunt, Angela Cornthwaite, is passionate about supporting her nephew and decided to rally friends to support Muscular Dystrophy UK.

“Will my nephew, and a cousin to two of our Great North Swim team members, was diagnosed with DMD aged four,” she said.

“He is now 12 years-old and still able to bike and walk, thanks to the research and treatments available.

“We all know Will through family and friends.

“We are very aware of the importance of fundraising to keep moving forward with research into new treatments and advances.

“These will hopefully help Will and many others like him, both now and in the future.”

The swimming team’s effort is part of the Duchenne Research Relay (DRR) fundraising campaign.

The relay will see 17 cyclists ride 380 miles from Great Ormond Street Hospital between August 12 and 14, passing the baton at every neuromuscular centre in the UK.

And Ms Cornthwaite decided on the swim after realising she would not manage to cycle 200 plus miles a day in Will’s father’s fundraising bike ride for the campaign.

So her friend Chris Berry suggested they call friends to persuade them to help her raise money as part of a wider team – and they started to plan for their Great North Swim.

“Despite living in the Lake District, we aren’t really what could be classed as keen swimmers!” Said Ms Cornthwaite.

“And for those who hadn’t done any open water swimming before, our starting training sessions, with water temperatures of only nine degrees, left us quickly ordering anything neoprene to keep us from freezing. 

“Ten weeks on and the water is now a balmy 14 degrees.

“We are as ready now as we ever will be for the weekend.”

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/angelaandbecscornthwaite