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Epic swim challenge for supporter Beth French

September 06, 2016

Action for M.E. supporter Beth French is set to embark on a huge challenge: the Oceans Seven, a gruelling series of seven long-distance, open water swims.

Beth, who has recovered from M.E., will brave frigid water, rough seas and vicious currents as she tests the boundaries of her endurance.

“When I began to suffer in 1988, it was a suspected bout of mononucleosis or glandular fever that triggered a nine-year struggle with pain, exhaustion and immune impairment," says Beth. "I was only 10 years old. For many, life touched by M.E. is forever. I am fortunate enough to say I live completely without symptoms, although I have changed my life to stay that way.”

In 2012 Beth swam the English Channel, and four months later became the first British woman to swim the Molokai channel in Hawaii. In 2014 she achieved a world first by swimming from Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly.

“The relentless nature of M.E. created the drive I am imbued with that I can survive. The cold water is not as uncomfortable as the ache of fatigue, and the dogged nature of recovery allows me to keep going long after good sense and reason dictate I should get out!”

To date, only six people have ever completed the Oceans Seven challenge over their lifetime. Beth will tackle all seven swims in a single 12-month period, to become the first person in history to do so. We are hugely grateful to Beth for choosing Action for M.E. among charities she will be fundraising for, and wish her the best of luck as she sets out on her incredible challenge.