Team Nelson Take the Plunge

The brave mum of Christopher Nelson, who sadly passed away in 2015, is to undertake her biggest challenge yet by getting back in the water for the first time since her son tragically drowned.

Donna, who cannot swim and who has had an immense fear of water since Christopher's death, is set to swim a 20km relay with friends and family in St Mary's Loch, where her son's ashes are scattered.


Donna is currently learning to swim by attending adult swimming lessons with instructor Jen Henderson at Lasswade Centre. She said: "I've not been in a swimming pool since Christopher died. Even when I stand in the shower, I can't put my face under the water. There hasn't been a morning in the last five years where I've stood in the shower and not thought about what happened to my son.

Donna is fundraising for ECHC as our charity is close to her family's heart. 

“Christopher was a mad sports person as a little boy, so we were on first name terms with the A&E staff at the Sick Kids as he had so many sports-related injuries."

- Donna Nelson


"He was very athletic and used to inspire me to do things I would never do. He was my inspiration for most things in life. He would never believe that I would take swimming lessons, and especially not that I would swim in open water!"

Donna and her family and friends - also known as "Donna's Prosecco Posse" or #TeamNelson - have so far raised over £30,000 for ECHC by completing a series of fundraising challenges since 2015, including Tough Mudder and a 200-mile cycle.

Although each new challenge is harder than the last, Donna says she channels her son to give her the strength to complete it.

"When I complete my challenges, I'm always sobbing my eyes out but also have such a sense of relief.  I couldn't think of a bigger challenge than this one but I'm doing it for Christopher, so his legacy and his name will live on forever. By hook or by crook, I will cross that finish line."

The money they are raising will have a huge impact on the lives of children, young people and their families and make a phenomenal difference during their time in hospital. 

Donna's challenge was postponed in 2020 due to Covid-19. Alongside family and friends, she will now be swimming the 20km in May 2021 at St Mary's Loch. She will be supported by Steven Nelson (no relation) Founder and Manager/Activities Coordinator of Beyond Boundaries East Lothian and volunteers, who have very kindly agreed to be the Water Safety Crew.

If you feel inspired to take on a new challenge, find out more about how you can join our team by visiting our event page

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