Tom Pembroke raises $19,000 for Kiss Goodbye to MS – and teaches an invaluable lesson
Tom Pembroke has raised $19,000 for Kiss Goodbye to MS and that is only the beginning of the enormous impact he is making. In 2013, Tom who is a high school teacher, decided to take on the Oceans Seven. The Oceans Seven consists of seven long distance open-water swims, and is considered the marathon swimming equivalent to the seven summits mountaineering challenge. With two swims down, Tom had his sights set on his next two swims, and he decided to raise awareness and funds for charity at the same time.
Tom chose to raise funds for MS Research Australia via Kiss Goodbye to MS and The Kids Cancer Project. The reason behind his choice is what makes Tom a hero. Tom is a teacher at St Pius X College in Chatswood, Sydney. In the lead up to his next two swims, Tom gave his students the opportunity to design a presentation which aimed to persuade him to raise money for their chosen charities.
Kiss Goodbye to MS is honoured to have been represented by an incredible young man, Hayden Robertson. Hayden has been touched by MS twice in his family. His uncle Mike is living with the disease and his grandmother also had MS living back in the UK. Tom was overwhelmed and humbled by the inspiring presentation given by Hayden and the other students, who were all incredibly passionate about their chosen causes, and Kiss Goodbye to MS was thrilled to be selected.
Tom has successfully completed the two swims on his list, The Molokai Channel swim and the Catalina Island swim. The first swim was 42km and took more than 14 hours to complete. The second swim was 32km and took Tom 12 hours. Two swims, 26 hours, 74 km and $19,000 raised for Kiss Goodbye to MS.
When an exhausted and relieved Tom completed his epic challenge raising funds for MS Research Australia and The Kids Cancer Project, the first thing he did, as he left the water, was to begin thanking people. And the first people he thanked? His students. This story has filled our hearts with joy – what an incredible young man.
There are so many aspects of this story that make us smile – the passionate Hayden who told his story, the incredible Tom who raised over $35,000 for charity, and the wonderful awareness that has been generated. But our favourite part? The teacher who has taught all of his students an invaluable lesson that they will carry with them forever.