| Aug 11, 2011

Photo: Theresa, Katie and Becki Procter complete their third annual Hope Swim in Sharbot Lake.

Anyone who happened to be on the shore at Oso beach on the afternoon of August 6 might have witnessed three ladies emerge from the lake, all smiles. They were the Procter sisters, 25-year-old twins Katie and Becki, and 24-year-old Theresa. The sisters all have been swimming the lake for years and were elated after having just completed their third annual Hope Swim, which raised over $1,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. The three grew up in Sharbot Lake and felt that a summer swim in Sharbot Lake would be a great way to get together and raise funds for cancer research, a cause that has hit very close to home. The sisters have watched their grandmother, aunt and most recently a young friend succumb to the disease.

The swim, spearheaded by Theresa saw the three sisters dive into the waters at Sharbot Lake Provincial Park at 2PM under thick clouds. According to Katie they surprised a number of campers at the dock, who “watched in disbelief as we stripped off our outer layers, jumped into the lake and swam away into the distance.” The ladies swam 3km in about 1.5 hours and emerged at Oso beach where supporters were awaiting their arrival.

This year’s swim came not without its obstacles. Katie, who gave birth to daughter Abigail just three weeks ago, said she went ahead with the swim even though her doctor advised her to abstain from any kind of strenuous exercise for at least six weeks. “Fortunately this is not strenuous for us. It's really just fun. Last year I did it easily with no prior training beforehand so I felt confident I could do it without any problems.””

Becki had made a quick return home the night before after returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic. The three sisters are each pursuing their own lives and careers elsewhere: Katie as a new mom and a nurse at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto; Becki as an employee at a Mississauga Insurance Company and Theresa as a master’s student in animal biology at the University of Guelph. They make the annual pilgrimage to Sharbot Lake every summer for the swim and to visit with each other, family and friends.

Proud family members and friends were all there to congratulate the sisters, and included Norm and Anita Landry, who since the swim began have accompanied the ladies en route. The girls, who were laughing and seemed none the worse for wear, admitted that they would likely be feeling their efforts more the following day. Baby Abigail will be getting her first taste of the activity that her mom and aunties enjoy so much in the next couple of weeks. Anyone who missed the swim but who would still like to make a donation can do so by visiting http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/hopeswim2011


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