Swimming the Kinneret for children with cancer

May 21, 2015 by Hayley Hadassin
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Yigal Sela, who heads the  Israel office of the Zionist Federation of Australia, will swim the entire length of the Kinneret to raise funds for cancer research.

The 63-yr-old is a father, grandfather and cancer survivor, who has only one functioning leg, is participating in Swim for Life raising funds for children diagnosed with cancer.

Ygal Sela by the banks of the Kinneret

Ygal Sela by the banks of the Kinneret

Originally from the UK he made Aliyah 45 years ago and on the 26th May he will swim 25km in one attempt to celebrate being 14 years cancer free.

Yigal is very well-known to hundreds of gap year participants who have participated in Israel programs from the ZFA. He says; “Up until the age of 47 I was a long distance runner, running marathons and more, just for the fun. Then, in 1999, my left knee suffered a fateful blow. A malignant tumour had attacked the soft tissues within my knee and led to a nightmare scenario of chemotherapy, hospitalization, no less than seven major operations, and months of excruciating pain. My life was in the air… The price? I don’t have a left knee anymore but a viable and functional rod of metal; a heavy price for someone like me who loved to run; but not such a great price for someone who also loves life and his family.”

In Israel 400 children every year are diagnosed with cancer. The Jewish community is statistically affected in greater numbers than other groups. Swim for Life is an opportunity for Yigal to give back and this year he is raising money for Hayim: – “Hayim provides a system of support for the children and their families on every level. From smart computers for the children used during their stay at the hospital, to special events and projects with their families. Hayim helps fund innovative treatments not included in their medical coverage, and goes beyond by supporting advanced research projects aimed at finding new treatments and cures, this organization goes above making wishes come true for children. Hayim truly aims to achieve what its name stands for: Life. Helping to save lives”

Yigal has a team of people helping him to achieve this feat, his army of supporters are all volunteers with the same objective – to help these children. David Broza, Israeli singer, songwriter and activist has asked for everyone’s support. He says: – “Please join me in supporting my friend Yigal Sela as he embarks on his great, ambitious project to swim the length of the Kinneret at the Sea of Galilee… We all support Yigal Sela. Good luck Yigal!”

Yigal has a message for Australia “When I’ll be in the middle of the lake aching, knowing I still have 6 or 7 hours left to swim in front of me I will be inspired by each and every one of you, but I have a personal favour to ask of you…. Please donate to this campaign. Help us bring a smile to these young heroes’ faces. Thank you and see you in Israel soon.”

The Kinneret is also known as the Sea of Galilee.

To donate please go to http://jewcer.com/project/swim-for-life-2

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