From the Ely Weekly News, 18 June 2015.
A couple who are just days away from getting married have raised almost £2,000 for a charity close to their hearts.
Bride-to-be Charlotte Lowry, 33, and her fiance, Lee Mulderrig, 28, from Ely, joined 10,000 other swimmers to take on the Great North Swim – a gruelling one-mile swim across the waters of Lake Windermere; England's largest natural lake.
Joined by their friend Ayliffe Rose, 33, from Jedburgh, Scotland, the sight of the finishing post was even sweeter as they have raised nearly £2,000 for The ME Association, which funds vital research into Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME).
ME, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, causes persistent fatigue which affects everyday life and does not go away with sleep or rest.
It is a cause close to RSPB project manager Charlotte's heart as her mother, Rosey, was diagnosed with the condition more than 20 years ago. Ayliffe's sister also had it as a child.
Charlotte said: “The wedding will feel like a piece of cake after the swim, but it was brilliant – we all enjoyed it and there was a real sense of achievement at the end. I finished in a time of 36 minutes, Lee did it in 31 and Ayliffe in 33.
“There is a bit of competition between Lee and I, so it's probably for the best that his time was the best!
“Lee and I have always loved open water swimming but we've never taken part in anything like this before.”
Charlotte and Lee are getting married at Ely Registry Office on Saturday, June 27.
Charlotte said: “I know mum is proud of us and overwhelmed by the amount of money people have given. It's great for her to see that people care.”
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/bigswimforMEresearch