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Weymouth Pensioner To Celebrate Her 90th Birthday With A Charity Swim

Maley Abbott

8:11am 17th June 2014

A pensioner from Weymouth, who's partially sighted, is in training for an epic swimming challenge on her 90th birthday.

Maley Abbot, who suffers from Macular Degeneration, is aiming to swim 600 metres to raise money for the town's local Macular support group and Macular Society next month (16th July), 2 groups who she says have helped her through tough times:

"They have been a great help and support to me over the years so I wanted to raise the money for them. I was very frightened about going blind but the support group help me cope. I saw others worse off than me and how, with support from the group, they coped well with the disease. It made me think if they can do it so can I."

The swim is taking place at Weymouth Bay Holiday Park, which is where Maley still runs her own business, letting out caravans which she's done for the last 30 years.

The 89-year-old says her friends and family think she's mad to take on the swim challenge:

"I suffer from Macular Degeneration and I'm low vision. The group has done so much for me and helped me not be frightened about not losing my sight. I thought I'd do something for them. They think I'm mad but they've all been very supportive."

Maley says she'll be doing the breaststroke to complete the 5 laps of the Weymouth Bay Holiday Park swimming pool, and although she is partially sighted, she'll be OK:

"I see out the corner of my eye, my right eye isn't much good at all. If I've got extra light I can see to read if it's black on white, but I can get around and most things myself."

"I've got arthritis in my knee, I've had 2 new knees, so it feels like I'm swimming with a brick hanging on my leg .. But I'm coping, I can do it."

Maley is already half way toward her fundraising target of £2,000. You can check out her sponsor page here.

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