Ex-Marine dives into charity channel swim in memory of his grandad

AN ex-Royal Marine whose granddad died from cancer is preparing to swim the English Channel in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Steve Stone, from Crosby, lost his granddad Arthur Wenton to pancreatic cancer in July 2016. Now he’s determined to swim the channel and reach the £10k target that he’s set himself, putting himself through a gruelling training plan in order to achieve it.

The 33-year-old, who works off shore and travels between Crosby and North Wales to train, said: “I’ve been spending 2-3 hours per day in the pool and every weekend I head to North Wales so that I can spend 6 hours in open water.

“I’m really excited to take on this challenge for Macmillan in memory of my granddad and am just hoping that the weather is on my side as the success rates are largely down to conditions. Only 40% of those who set out to take on this challenge actually manage it and I’m determined to be in that 40%.”

Steve has been given a ‘swimming window’ between September 27 and October 3 and prior to the big event he will be holding a fundraiser at Bierkeller in Liverpool on September 16. The event will feature local bands and a raffle with prizes including local restaurant vouchers and a signed shirt by local boxers the Smith brothers. Tickets cost £20pp and all monies from sales will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Nicole McIlveen, Macmillan’s Fundraising Manager for Liverpool, added: “We are so grateful to Steve for taking on this challenge and choosing Macmillan. He is a massive inspiration to us, and we hope to others who may have thought about taking on a challenge themselves. I’ve no doubt that he’ll hit his £10k target which will go towards us helping those living with cancer.”

Steve is no stranger to a challenge – he took on and completed the Iron Man Challenge last year after he was persuaded to take part by best friend, and fellow ex-Marine, Andy Grant, who also went on to break the world record for the fastest single leg amputee in the world over 10km.

Andy, from Bootle, explains: “Since I lost my leg in Afghanistan I have set myself many challenges to prove to myself and others I still had the Marine mentality and could achieve anything I set my mind to. When I broke the record Steve was there to support me on the night and it’s going to be an absolute honour to be to able to support him in his epic challenge. First the iron man and now this! It’s going to be an awesome achievement made even better by the huge amount he plans to raise.”

The money raised from Steve’s challenge will be used to fund Macmillan’s support services such as information and support centres across the region; Macmillan Community Support Volunteers who offer emotional and practical help to anybody affected by cancer or anyone bereaved through cancer; Macmillan Volunteer Transport Project which provides transport to people affected by cancer; Breast Cancer Telephone Buddies which is a service offered by volunteers who have a personal experience of breast cancer and offer emotional support and information.

If you would like to support Steve you can donate via his just giving page at justgiving.com/steven-stone2. If would like tickets for the event donate £20pp to Steve’s just giving page and state that you’d like a ticket.