The 1st Team Men’s Captain at Rickmansworth Lawn Tennis Club has raised more than £20,000 for charity.
Mark O’Brien took on an 11km swim on September 24 to raise vital funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The event, which took place at Denham Waterski Club, was attended by journalists from the BBC and ITV, as well as Watford FC players and Mark’s friends and family.
Through the challenge, Mark was also attempting to beat the world record for the longest unaided open water swim for a person living with motor neurone disease (MND).
Records have now been sent off to the Guiness Book of World Records, who will shortly confirm if Mark has surpassed the world record.
In the end, Mark swam half a kilometre longer than intended after his three children, David, Georgia and Lauren, jumped into the water to finish the race with him.
Mark was diagnosed with MND, a rare and uncurable illness affecting the brain, nerves and muscles, on March 17, 2022.
Speaking to Ricky News, Mark confided: “I was in such a dark place mentally after receiving the diagnosis. Eventually, I thought to myself, what can I possibly do to make this situation feel more positive?
“In the months leading up to the swim, I couldn’t stop wondering whether the disease would take over. I was scared I wouldn’t be here for the race.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I won’t be physically capable of doing something like this again.
“But I’ve proved to myself and my kids that you should never give up, as well as raising awareness for MND. I’m battered, and the impact on my body and breathing has been painful, but it’s worth it.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com