Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has dampened the spirit of many in the Caribbean, a 12-year-old Martinican boy living just a few hundred kilometres from the BVI has put a smile on many faces with his historic swim from St Lucia to Martinique earlier this month.
Swimming prodigy Christophe Maleau became the youngest person to swim from St Lucia to his homeland Martinique, completing the 40km swim in 13 hours, 50 minutes and 47 seconds.
It’s important to note that this time isn’t record-breaking for adult professional swimmers but it is an incredible feat for a 12-year-old.
Christophe is no stranger to the waters, having already won a number of championship titles for swimming in the 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 200 butterfly and 400 freestyle categories.
But his latest feat was for a greater cause, as he swam to raise money for breast cancer — a disease his mother recently fought.
“I held on by singing songs to myself,” the youngster stated.
“I sometimes wanted to stop because I was tired. But when the idea crossed my mind, I told myself I had no right. I had to continue for the cause I was defending,” added Christophe, who was accompanied by doctors and divers who followed in another boat to ensure his safety during the swim.
Christophe’s swim to support of his mother is a reminder of the breast cancer cases here in the BVI. In a statement this month, Health Minister Carvin Malone noted that the territory has “a high rate of cancer, especially breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men”.
“We have also had some instances of breast cancer in men in the BVI; we have had four cases with only one survival,” Minister Malone stated.
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