Garys swim challenge for hospice

Gary and his 7 year old daughter, Faye

A local man is taking on a marathon swimming challenge to raise money for the hospice that cared for his grandad.

Gary Kenealy, 36, from Newton-le-Willows is swimming 30 miles in 30 days to raise awareness of the care and support offered by Willowbrook Hospice.
The Prescot based hospice looked after Gary’s grandad, Ken before he passed away on 21 August 2018 aged 82.

Ken was originally diagnosed with lung cancer last January but unfortunately his conditioned rapidly deteriorated, spreading to his chest cavity and shoulder.

Gary’s grandad Ken Kenealy

Father of one, Gary says: “The loss of my grandad to cancer is still quite raw but what helps is knowing that he had the best care during his last days thanks to Willowbrook Hospice. Although the facilities there are very good, what makes Willowbrook outstanding, in my eye, is the staff and the care my grandad and our family received.

“It is a very difficult situation for the staff to work in, but every single member of staff were very understanding and empathetic, very kind and extremely helpful. To me, it looks like one of the hardest jobs in the world, but you can clearly see that the team are dedicated and really want to give the best care they can. This all made my grandad’s final days as bearable as possible, which the whole family greatly appreciates.

“We’ve all been trying to find our own ways to deal with this huge loss but the most productive way I could think of was to try to push myself to the limit and raise as much money as possible for the hospice”

Gary’s challenge began on 21 August and will finish on 19 September with the goal to do a mile a day, every day.

And the inspiration for Gary’s 30 mile swim in 30 days challenge?
Gary says: “30 miles was the approximate distance of the round trip my grandad made from where he was born and raised, to where he met the love of his life…my nan.”

To support Gary and help raise for Willowbrook, please visit:


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