Dubai-based expat Kate Willoughby is set to be the first person to swim around The World man-made islands to raise funds for the fight against a muscle disease that affects millions of children round the world.
Kate Willoughby will swim 25-kilometres on Nov. 21 for a cause, calling on people to donate to Harrison’s Fund, a charity set by her nephew’s parents for their son who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
This rare genetic disorder currently has no cure, and has a 100 percent fatality. Harrison and others endure muscle deterioration, leading them to be wheelchair-bound by the average age of 12, with an estimated maximum life expectancy of 30 years old.
The idea of the challenge came to Willoughby last year. She embarked on preparing for the campaign after approaching Nakheel, The World’s developers, who sponsor her swim. She hired a coach and officially began training from January 2012.
The World, modeled on continents, is located 4 kilometers off the coast of Dubai. Willoughby plans to swim from New Zealand to Great Britain, and finish at Lebanon – spanning a grand total of 25 kilometers.
Willoughby estimates it would take her 12 hours to complete, but may take longer with the challenges she might face such as physical tiredness and water currents.
“Swimming around The World will undoubtedly be the hardest physical challenge I will ever take on and as it has never been done before it's a small leap into the unknown,” she said on her site.
All donations made to Willoughby’s swim will go towards research into her nephew’s disorder via Harrison’s Fund.
Among DMD sufferers was the son of Enzo Ferrari, the automobile creator. Dino Ferrari died at the age of 24.