Tom Walker About Tom

Tom Walker was a pupil at Monmouth School for Boys. He was a quiet, considerate and caring boy. In June 2018 he was taken ill and died the day after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. Tom was a keen swimmer representing both his school and Monnow Swimming Club. He was also learning to row on the river Wye. Less than three months before he died, before he knew he had leukaemia, Tom raised £600 for Cancer Research Wales by taking part in a night hike up Pen y Fan. He was the youngest of the 91 participants who took part.

Following Tom’s death, Cancer Research Wales set up a fund affectionately known as Tom’s Fund. The aim of the fund is to support three-year research posts focusing on acute myeloid leukaemia. Each three-year post needs £100,000. In April 2019, the first £100,000 was raised and applications for this are currently being assessed and we hope to announce the successful research team in March 2020. Following Swim for Tom 2020 we are now over £30,000 towards research scientist number two. We are aiming for a laboratory full!

About Swim for Tom

In order to remember Tom, his sister Holly and then deputy head girl Katie Cameron from Monmouth School for Girls and Monnow Swimming Club organised a swimathon (known as “Swim for Tom”) on Sunday 6 January 2019. It was supported by the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools and Cancer Research Wales. The Swim for Tom aimed to cover a total distance of 430km - the equivalent of swimming the length of the river Wye and back again. The event surpassed all expectations, with 988km being swum by over 600 swimmers. It raised over £25,000 for Tom’s Fund.

Following the success of the first Swim for Tom, and of the second one, on Sunday 12th January 2020, we have decided to hold a Swim for Tom event this year (2021) virtually.

Swim for Tom 2021

Swim for Tom 2021.......will be a virtual challenge starting on Saturday 16 January and running for 4 weeks until Sunday 14 February. The only change to these dates will be if Wales goes into lockdown, in which case, the challenge will be suspended and the days missed added on to the end.

The third Swim for Tom has a target distance of 1146km, which is the distance from Monmouth to Edinburgh and back or 45,840 lengths of a 25m pool. It is our most challenging target ever.

Swimmers are asked to register here and set up a personal page on which they can track the number of lengths they have swum and set up a sponsorship page.

You will be able to track the total distance swum using our “otter-ometer” who will be swimming along the homepage river, showing the progress we are making.

There are two registration options for you to choose from:

Option 1 - £5: You will be emailed a certificate with your own distance and the total distance at the end of the challenge.

Option 2 - £10: You will be sent a “Swim for Tom” swimming hat on sign up and will receive an electronic certificate with your own distance and the total distance at the end of the challenge.