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, we decided to hold another one a year later, this time on Sunday 12 January 2020.