On Saturday 22 April 2017, Eugene van der Merwe endeavoured to swim 20km from Pringle Bay to Gordon’s Bay to raise awareness for the Helen Harder Foundation. He braved shark, jellyfish and blue bottle infested waters, as well as extreme currents, rapid changing weather coupled with strong winds.
Eugene completed his journey in just over seven hours and not only raised awareness but also raised R24 500, which will be used offer financial assistance and support to young women fighting breast cancer. The Helen Harder Foundation is immensely grateful and proud of Eugene’s sacrifice and selfless act of courage.
“Sometimes with challenges, disappointments do cross your path and you might feel like a failure, but it is not how you start something it is rather how you finish. I was mentally very well prepared for the many elements surrounding me in the water, but I was not prepared for the unexpected occurrences happening to my body. I read about these things and spoke to people but when you actually experience it for yourself is a different ball game!
As I mentioned on a previous occasion, I cannot imagine what a woman goes through who is diagnosed with breast cancer, but what I do know is that proper support makes a huge difference in handling a challenge - disappointments are inevitable, embracing the challenge and deciding to finish strong touches those around you.
Woman of courage, I salute you!” – Eugene