Charity swim raises nearly £1,000 for charity after Lennoxtown girl is inspired by sister

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A SPORTY youngster has raised almost £1,000 for charity by swimming the equivalent distance of the English Channel.

Annie O’Donnell (9), from Lennoxtown, swam a remarkable total of 22 miles over a nine-week period in aid of Tracheo Oesophageal Fistula Support (TOFS).

The charity provides vital help to those affected by TOF - a rare congenital condition which prevents sufferers from swallowing properly.

Annie’s inspiration to take up the challenge came from her little sister, seven-year-old Millie, who was born with the condition.

TOFS offered her mum and dad, Murray and Kirsteen, invaluable support while Millie was treated in Yorkhill Hospital for over three months following her birth.

Dad Murray said: “The swimming challenge meant fitting 180-200 lengths a week into an already busy schedule of Brownies, drama club, football training, choir practice, athletics, piano lessons and homework.

“But Annie was determined to complete the challenge, as she knows how ill her wee sister Millie was when she was born, and the fact that she still misses out on so much, even now, due to ill health.

“As Annie’s parents we are extremely proud of her efforts. Her commitment to such a challenge at such a young age is remarkable.”

Not to be outdone in the fundraising stakes, Millie has teamed up with her aunt, Julie, to make charm bags to sell. At a recent Christmas fair they raised £1,010 to add to the £942 from Annie’s sponsored swim.

Murray added: “In these hard economic times we are humbled that so many generous people have supported our fantastic girls.”

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For more information about TOFS, go to

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