Jillian Better of London, Ontario. Seems to be To 2022 After Fundraiser Swims Throughout Lake Ontario – London

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A woman from London, Ontario won’t rest long after swimming 52 kilometers across Lake Ontario and raising over $ 90,000 for organ transplant recipients in the process.

Jillian Best, herself an organ transplant recipient, was held in collaboration with her Move for Life Foundation, a group founded by Best dedicated to reducing the organ transplant waiting list.

A GoFundMe campaign associated with the event had raised more than $ 92,000 by Friday morning in funds to support the purchase of new equipment at the London Health Sciences Center for organ transplants.

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London, Ontario. Transplant recipient ready for 18-hour swim in Lake Ontario

“I’m already thinking about what I want to do next. I have some really important members on my Move for Life team who want to do something really big and exciting, “Best told Global News.

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“It wasn’t just a one-time thing. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll swim another bigger marathon, but we want to keep raising awareness, keep raising funds and making an impact on the transplant community and making it better for those on that waiting list trying to make so many lives save as possible. “

After over a year of training, it’s best to head out for the massive swim in the Niagara region on Tuesday. She finished swimming late Wednesday afternoon when she landed on dry land on a shore of Toronto that was filled with cheers and tears from her supporters.

“I think the first thing I thought was, ‘Wow, I did it.’ I’m just so grateful that all the hard work, time and energy I put into preparing for this swim paid off, ”said Best after her 52-kilometer swim.

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“My body is recovering really well, my training and then my rejuvenation for swimming was absolutely perfect in my opinion,” said Best.

“I actually feel a lot better than I expected.”

Best credits her swim crew for her success and says the swim was mostly smooth thanks to good conditions.

“But still 15 kilometers from the finish I encountered a countercurrent. My crew was so great, they were experienced and they knew they couldn’t tell me that I would swim in place for a few hours, ”said Best.

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“I could see the CN Tower, I could see it wasn’t really getting any closer for a long time, so I’d say the last 15 kilometers were probably the toughest.

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Best was 15 years old when her mother had a liver transplant in 2004. Best was soon diagnosed with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT).

Her symptoms started developing in her early 20s. In May 2015, she was placed on a waiting list for a transplant and the following year she was transplanted.

The swimming, Best said, reflected part of what she felt during her own organ transplant experience.

“The ups and downs, the long distance at the end where it gets really tough,” said Best.

“In the end there was success and just a really happy ending.”

Swimming offered other life lessons too, says Best, showing the importance of surrounding yourself with people who can lift you up and support you.

She hopes that the story of her swimming can help raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and “inspire people to dream big and work hard for each personal goal.”

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“I was at death’s door and now I am here. I think almost anything can be achieved with hard work and big dreams. “

Best will take some time to rest, but expects to start planning for 2022 “in the next few weeks”.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.