Top 5 Kiss Goodbye to MS moments in 2016 – Tom swims a marathon… twice!
A few months ago Tom Pembroke raised $21,765 for Kiss Goodbye to MS. But that is only the beginning of this story.
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 funds for Kiss Goodbye to MS and The Kids Cancer Project in the process.
But it is the reason behind this decision that makes Tom a hero. Tom is a teacher at St Pius X College in Sydney. In the lead up to his swims, he 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 and he bravely shared his family story. Tom was overwhelmed and humbled by the inspiring presentation given by Hayden and the other students.
Earlier this year Tom successfully completed his next two swims, The Molokai Channel swim and the Catalina Island swim. The first swim was 42km and took more than 14 hours to complete, and the second one was 32km and took just over 12 hours. Two swims, 26 hours, 74 km and $21,765 raised for Kiss Goodbye to MS (and quite a few jellyfish stings along the way!).
When an exhausted Tom completed his second swim the first thing he did as he left the water, was to begin thanking people. And the first people he thanked? His students. There are so many aspects of this story that make us smile – the passionate Hayden put us forward, the incredible Tom who raised over $40,000 for his two chosen charities, 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. This story has filled our hearts with joy – what an incredible young man Tom Pembroke is.