Wa­ter way to go for John

Two-mile swim in Loch Lomond

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

A Ruther­glen comic book writer will swap his wa­ter­colours for the open wa­ter to raise money for an an­i­mal char­ity.

John Lees, 30, has en­tered the Great Scot­tish Swim to sup­port the Peo­ple’s Dis­pen­sary for Sick An­i­mals (PDSA).

He was in­spired to help af­ter the Glas­gow East PDSA pet hospi­tal helped his gran’s Rot­tweiler dog, Rom­mel.

The chal­lenge will see him swim two miles in Loch Lomond on Au­gust 26, a far cry from writ­ing ad­ven­tures of the Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles and comic books The Stan­dard and Oxy­moron.

But while the swim presents a chal­lenge, he was ea­ger to help a char­ity that has been so good to him and his fam­ily.

“I wanted to fundraise for a char­ity close to my heart,” he said.

“Although my gran owns him, I spend so much time walk­ing Rom­mel and look­ing af­ter him that it feels like my dog; he’s my best pal.

“PDSA Glas­gow East have saved his life mul­ti­ple times now. Even when the stakes aren’t so high, the staff are so con­sid­er­ate and al­ways go the ex­tra mile to help. Ev­ery time I go there, it is al­ways full of peo­ple who love their pets just as I love mine.

“The costs of staff, labour and equip­ment is far greater than any­thing they re­ceive in re­turn for their ser­vices.

“Hope­fully the money I raise can show my ap­pre­ci­a­tion for all their hard work.”

John is no stranger to tak­ing on char­ity chal­lenges. He com­pleted the Great Scot­tish Swim last year for MacMil­lan Can­cer Sup­port, in mem­ory of his grand­fa­ther who died from the dis­ease.

In 2015 he took on the Swim 22 chal­lenge for Di­a­betes UK.

John only took swim­ming back up a few years ago, and he ad­mits swim­ming in open wa­ter was not some­thing he was pre­vi­ously pre­pared for.

“I got back into swim­ming as an adult as a means of stay­ing in shape.

“Last year, I did the Great Scot­tish Swim for the first time, and although I felt I was quite an ex­pe­ri­enced swim­mer, it was dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent in open wa­ter.

“Swim­ming in a wet­suit is def­i­nitely not the same as do­ing lengths in my Speedos, and noth­ing can pre­pare you for the cold.”

John also re­vealed his swim­ming had in­spired a new char­ac­ter in his comics.

“All the swim­ming I’ve done lately in­spired me to start devel­op­ing a swim­ming comic, with art by Jules Rivera.”

As he was un­able to set up a Just­Giv­ing page for the spe­cific branch that helped Rom­mel, you can spon­sor John’s run for PDSA Glas­gow East at his per­sonal fundrais­ing page: paypal. me/john­lees927

●En­tries for the Great Scot­tish Swim are now open. Go to www. greatrun.org/great-swim/greatscot­tish-swim for more in­for­ma­tion.

I wanted to fundraise for a char­ity close to my heart

On dry land John in his more fa­mil­iar en­vi­ron­ment as a comic book au­thor

Wa­ter star John only took swim­ming back up a few years ago

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