Welcome to the spring edition of Inspire magazine

by Emma Brown 23 Dec 2019

Welcome to the last edition of Inspire for the year. This is an extra-special edition because it wraps up some of the best stories of the year: including the nearly 200 Hall of Fame recipients from this year.

The theme for this Spring 2019 edition is Face Your Fears, which is fitting as we’re currently immersed in the learn to ocean swim program. As for many ocean swimming is associated with feelings of trepidation.

We empower our community members to overcome such fears by teaching them the skills to ocean swim delivered by qualified, experienced Coaches with the support of caring Team Captains, Mentors, Champions, and certified Water Safety Crew, within the group exercise environment of the pods (training groups).

Can Too Champion, Kieran Gallagher shares how he overcame and used his fear of drowning, which he felt as a five-year-old, to help other Can Tooers transform their lives. To show them that they can make the impossible possible.

One Can Tooer Kieran supported to conquer an ocean swim, which changed his entire world forever, was Grant Campbell. Grant went from thinking at the start ‘I can't do it’ to recently reaching the pinnacle of the sport – swimming the English Channel.

Discover how Grant’s team of Can Tooers, the ‘Too Cans’ trained for and conquered the ‘Everest of marathon swimming’.

The Too Cans also supported the first Can Too marathon swim pod for the 10km Mana Island Fiji marathon swim. Find out how the Pod showed true Can Too spirit to support each other and those in need by performing an unexpected boat rescue, during one training session.

One of the Pod members was Lara Solomon who went from being fearful of putting her face in the water to completing monthly 5km ocean swims in an effort to raise $120k to fund an ovarian cancer researcher, to honour her mum who died from the disease.

Lara also battled her own thyroid cancer this year, she demonstrated Can Too determination to ‘just keep swimming’ to recently compete in the Mana Island 10km marathon swim.

A potent example of a mentor and participant’s relationship to overcoming fear together is explored by Robin Nicholls and Kate Cooper in the You Can Two section.

Can Too Mentor Paul Taylor also shares his Can Too journey which started with struggling to swim 100 metres.

‘Coach Gary Emmerton is kindly explaining what’s going wrong and how, together, we’re going to fix it. Since then I’ve gone on to complete an Ironman, a 5km open water swim and a 10km pool swim. The fear of the unknown won’t stop me again,’ wrote Paul.

I was reminded recently about why people such as Paul do what they do when I heard cancer researcher Dr Vivian Kahl share how she is working on improving the prediction, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Dr Kahl is working on a new technique known as Telomere Fiber-FISH (TFF) to measure telomere lengths and what affects them, particularly in cancer cells with the aim to provide a screening platform for new cancer therapies.

She is inspired every day to seek a better way to treat cancer by her father, who died of bone sarcoma when she was 10 years old. 

This was a potent reminder that facing our fears, such as my own fear of running a marathon which was only made possible through Can Too, is nothing to the prospect of facing a cancer diagnosisis.

Thank you to everyone in our community for an outstanding year of making positive impacts on your own health and wellbeing and supporting each other in the community to do so as well as helping cancer researchers to achieve their goals to make the world a better place.

I look forward to continuing to ride the waves of success of Can Too with you next year. Wishing you a safe and Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

See you around in orange,

Peter McLean
Chief Executive Officer | Can Too Foundation