Betty, 88, victorious in swimming challenge for Captain Tom

Betty Brown raising money for Captain Tom's 100 challenge in aid of Marie Curie.

Betty Brown completed a 100 length swimming challenge at Bradwell's Phoenix Pool on Saturday (June 19). - Credit: Supplied by Betty Brown

A determined fundraiser has completed a 100 length swimming challenge, despite having polio and inoperable cancer.

Betty Brown, who only has the use of her arms, finished the final stage of her feat on Saturday, ploughing up and down the pool 16 times and raising well over £3,000 for cancer charity Marie Curie.

The 88-year-old, from Scratby, who swam internationally as a teen but hadn't been in the water for two years, said it was tough at first but she soon found her feet - or fins - declaring she expected to be a mermaid in another life.

Betty Brown from Scratby at the Phoenix Swimming Pool Bradwell Norfolk

Disabled Betty Brown, 88, has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity over some 50 years and is not shrinking from her latest challenge despite having cancer. - Credit: supplied by Lynn Hewett

Mrs Brown was clapped and cheered as she completed the distance, inspired by the Captain Tom 100 challenge.

She said she was stunned and touched by all the messages of support and donations, having received hundreds of cards including from former pupils of Greenacre Primary School where she was deputy head.

Torchbearer Betty Brown carries the Olympic flame through Filby. Picture: Denise Bradley

Torchbearer Betty Brown carries the Olympic flame through Filby. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

Thanking everyone who had supported her, including the Norfolk Association for the Disabled which has disbanded handing her £900, she said: "I can do all these things but if you do not support them then that's it."

She is already mulling over her next challenge having beaten the odds over land, air, and water to raise thousands for charity across six decades.


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Lynn Hewett, secretary for the Marina Centre Physically Disabled Swimming Club, hailed her achievement.

She said: "It has taken her a little longer than anticipated as she has had a brief stay in hospital because of the cancer, and her polymyalgia reared its ugly head so she had to take increased steroids and was in incredible pain.

Betty Brown was one of the olympic torch-bearers. Picture: James Bass

Betty Brown was one of the olympic torch-bearers. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

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"But Betty being Betty has completed her challenge which was going to be 100 metres but she herself changed this goal to 100 lengths.

"Betty is the most amazing person and is tireless in her fundraising and has been for around 60 years.

"Her efforts this time have amassed £3278 of which £3,248 has already been received by Marie Curie.

"She is truly an amazing person."

To sponsor Betty search Betty Brown on the Just Giving website.

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