Water way to go for John
Two-mile swim in Loch Lomond
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