CHARITY champ David Cook is gearing up to swim the length of the English Channel to raise vital funds.
Brave David has pledged to complete the gruelling challenge in memory of relations killed by cancer.
In 2003, David’s 16-year-old nephew Lee, of Hylton Castle, lost his five-year battle against cancer.
Since then, cancer has snatched his two brothers – most recently Jimmy last year who tirelessly fund-raised around Town End Farm,
for Grace House – and his dad in 2009. Mum Margaret died of breast cancer in 1977 at only 43.
David, 47, who served in the forces for more than 27 years as an ammunition sergeant with the Parachute Regiment and now as a physical training instructor with the 15 brigade in Yorkshire, hopes his swim will raise thousands of pounds for the Grace House Appeal.
He said: “All of my family support the cause and I’ve done many fund-raisers to help Grace House in everyone’s memory.
“I’ve done the Great North Run in full Army gear with a 22lbs pack on my back, the Boxing Day Dip, and a military march with a backpack.
“This is going to be another awesome task that I’m looking forward to seeing if I can achieve.”
On March 25, David, of Town End Farm, will take to Hebburn swimming pool for the challenge. He is hoping to complete the 1,420 lengths in about 10 hours.
David, who lives with his partner Lynn, 39, and sons Jack, 16, and David, 11, is now urging Wearsiders to dig deep and sponsor him.
* Anyone wishing to sponsor David can log on to www.justgiving.com/david-cook2