Doubleview woman to tackle Rottnest Channel Swim solo to support grandmother and Parkinson’s WA

Judy Francis and her granddaughter Zoe Francis. Picture: Martin Kennealey d479435
Judy Francis and her granddaughter Zoe Francis. Picture: Martin Kennealey d479435

WHEN she wants to ignore her early morning alarm or is struggling to swim further, Zoe Francis thinks of her grandmother.

The Doubleview resident is drawing on the strength of Judy Francis as inspiration to complete the Rottnest Channel Swim solo and raise money for Parkinson’s WA.

Ms Francis said her grandmother, a former senior amateur golf champion, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 16 years ago.

“She’s a very strong willed person,” she said.

“She’s a very courageous lady. Seeing how Parkinson’s has taken a little bit of that away from her has been very sad.”

The younger Francis has previously been part of teams and a duo for the Rottnest Swim but decided she wanted to tackle the race solo, and at the same time was feeling helpless as Judy’s health deteriorated.

“I really wanted to do something,” she said.

“You see the hard work (my grandfather) does for her and that she does every day.

“She has to always keep pushing on and pushing through.”

She has raised more than her initial $5000 target but is hoping for more contributions, which will go towards Parkinson’s research and helping sufferers in WA.

“I’ve been amazed at how generous everyone has been,” she said.

“It can be quite an isolating disease. They struggle to get enough support at home.”

Ms Francis said her grandmother was very excited about the swim and her grandfather Bruce was even following her training schedule.

“It’s been really nice for grandad to get involved,” she said.

“I’m proud, I’ve committed the last five months.

“I’ve been on a journey with my swim squad and with my grandparents.”

The swim is on February 24.

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