For Jamie Warnock, taking on the open ocean in the Rottnest Channel Swim was a daunting prospect, but it still pales in comparison to the challenges his mum faces day-to-day.
The channel swim is an expansive 19.7 kilometres out in the elements – but the sun, wind and waves were never going to stop Jamie from achieving his goal to make mum proud.
Although she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago, things took a turn when Jamie was in his final year of high school.
“It started to affect her cognitive function and she developed early onset Alzheimer’s,” he said.
“Since then, it has been completely devastating to the family. She is now receiving 24/7 care and it has been a long, tough road trying to support her in the best way we can.
“MSWA helped to give us a road map – we were so lost and didn’t know what to do, having direction was a life saver.”
Having completed the swim as part of a team on two previous occasions, Jamie decided 2023 was the year to take a leap and do it solo for Team MSWA – raising an incredible $3,735 in the process.
“The reason I took on the challenge is because MSWA has been instrumental in helping my mum,” Jamie said.
“I have other family members who also have MS, so I have heard so much about the work you are doing and we have also experienced it first-hand.”
It took five months of preparation and a qualifying swim to reach the big day, which wasn’t without its challenges.
“The swell and wind got pretty hectic – I ended up getting flipped by a wave and swimming back to Perth at one point,” Jamie said.
“It was gruelling, but I feel like with all the training I had done, that was the hard work and the swim itself was the payoff.”
“It is a huge achievement, I am stoked I actually made it and got under my goal time of six hours.”
Jamie’s message to anyone wanting to join Team MSWA is simple: just go for it!
“It’s a fantastic organisation helping so many people in WA,” he said.
“It seems daunting to start with, but just set a goal. Even if you don’t know if you can achieve it, shoot for the moon.”
MSWA wants to extend a huge congratulations to Jamie for his amazing accomplishment and our sincere gratitude for being such a strong supporter of our cause.