Million metre swim for kids with cancer

Donnie swimming Loch Lomond
Donnie swimming Loch Lomond

When Donnie Maclean heard that his friend’s young son had been diagnosed with cancer he felt compelled to do something to help.

Milo Carter (7) was diagnosed with kidney cancer for the second time last year when he was only six years old.

He was diagnosed with cancer for the first time aged four.

He had a kidney removed and received chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment but sadly the cancer returned and his remaining kidney also had to be removed.

Milo also had an operation within the first two hours of his life for a hole in his heart.

Milngavie man Donnie (37) is a close friend of Milo’s dad, Kevin.

He had always wanted to swim the full length of Loch Lomond, equivalent to one million metres (including all the training he’d need to do) and his challenge of ‘one million metres for Milo’ was born.

Donnie said: “Milo is such a cheery wee boy but has had so many challenges.

“I felt helpless about giving his mum and dad any more words and felt I had to do something to help a bit further.

“I’d always wanted to swim Loch Lomond and thought this was as good an incentive as any.”

Starting in November 2015 Donnie has been swimming in pools, lakes, rivers and lochs around the country to make up the 1,000,000 metres, including several long distance races in Scottish lochs including the Great North Swim (5km and 10km in one day) and a 10km swim down the River Spey.

His longest swim was the full length of Loch Lomond (22 miles) in one day, on a stormy day, which took him 11 hours and 37 minutes.

Fewer than 100 people have swum the length of Loch Lomond.

Donnie’s last swim on Sunday, October 30 was possibly a first for Scotland - 1,000 lengths of a 25 metre pool - The Allander leisure Centre in Bearsden.

So far he has raised £4,978 for the charity ‘Love Oliver’ to fund research into child cancers and enable to them to continue to support families.

The pool swim was the final 25,000 metres to complete the challenge and it took him 7.5 hours.

Milo, who has been staying with his grandparents in Bearsden during the past year to to receive dialysis treatment at The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, will shortly become the first child to have a dialysis machine at his home in Fife. He will eventually need a kidney transplant. If you’d like to donate visit