24 May 2023
Mel is going to extra lengths to fundraise and raise awareness.
Monday 1st May is the start of Mel's one month of taking to the water for the NF community.
Mel, one of our two Specialist NF Advisors in the West Midlands, has been with Nerve Tumours UK since October 2017.
Mel & Carolyn support and look after over 3200 people in their region, who have been diagnosed with NF1, NF2 and Schwannomatosis.
Mel works at Birmingham Women's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She has been in Nursing for over 30 years and recently qualified as an Acupuncturist, completing a 3 year degree - utilising her knowledge to help her NF patients.
Melanie covers the following regions: Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire & Coventry.
She joined our 2022 World NF Month Awareness Campaign
40 years of NTUK raising awareness and supporting the community
"It still amazes me how many people have never heard of Neurofibromatosis. I have spent lots of time over the last year speaking to GPs who do not understand the condition and informing them of the implications that this condition has for their patients. I also have informed lots of friends and people who I meet about the conditions, as raising awareness of Neurofibromatosis is so important."
Mel's last fundraiser was 3 years ago during Covid: the NTUK Easter Egg Challenge in 2020, when she and her daughter Mia shaved their heads for Nerve Tumours UK, raising an amazing amount thanks to the support of the community.
This year's fundraiser is a swim for Nerve Tumours UK. She has decided to swim 17km during the month of May as this is when World NF1 day falls - 17th May.
"It is also Chromosome 17 that is affected so it seemed a good number to me: 17km works out to be 680 lengths of the 25 metre pool, swimming four times a week, doing 40 lengths each time, which coincidentally is 17 days of swimming.
I know that times are hard at the moment - but if you can spare any pennies or pounds, it really does help - I see that every day that I work with people with NF.
So, thank you - I really do appreciate your support. Maybe next time I can do it for World NF2 and Schwannomatosis day on 22nd May…
Follow Mel's progress below
Day One: 1.7km
Day Three: Total so far 140 lengths and 3.5km
Swim 3: 2km swum, making the total 5.5km
Swim 4: 1km, making the total 6.5km
"The rate I’m going I might end up finishing on 17th May which is now what I am aiming for!!"
Just finished swim number 5
102 lengths = 2.55km. Making a total of 9km completed. 360 lengths completed so far so over half way now. Still on track to finish on 17th May 🤞
Just a ‘quick’ swim before work today! 54 lengths and another 1.35km. Total swam is now 10.4km
Swim 7 completed. 3km today - 120 lengths. Total swam is now 13.4km
Swim number 8 completed. 80 lengths bringing the total to 616 and another 2km making the total 15.4km.
So - on Wednesday, World NF Day, I’ll hopefully swim the remaining 64 lengths and 1.6km
I did it!
For some reason though my swim tag thought I did 65 lengths which I know isn’t right as I never do odd lengths!
"Now wondering if I can do another 414 lengths to make it 17 miles swum in May… "
Post swim photos with my supporters!
"So - I have updated my goal and changed my swim lengths from km to miles. This means another 415 lengths, which should not be a problem!"
Mel decided to go again, she has 6.5 miles and 349 lengths left, to make it 17 miles swum during May!
New chart for the remaining lengths
Swim number 11 complete. 80 lengths total making a total of 826 swum.
269 to go. I’ve now swum 12.8 miles so only another 4.2 miles to go.
Just a quick swim before work today. Another 48 lengths which is another 3/4 of a mile.
So, another 161 lengths to go which is only 2&1/2 more miles
Another 48 lengths and 3/4 of a mile done
113 lengths to go and 1 3/4 miles
Another 66 lengths and just over another mile (I lost count again!).
I now have 107 lengths left which is 1.7 miles
Another 66 lengths - just over a mile done.
Last swim hopefully tomorrow morning which is only going to be 41 lengths.
Well I did it!
17 miles (27.4km) and 1096 lengths of the pool completed this morning.
Post swim photos with daughter Erin, and Charlie the dog