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Cardiff consultant leads charity channel swim

13 Awst 2013

A Cardiff cardiac consultant is ditching his white coat and stethoscope in favour of trunks and goose fat in a fundraising attempt to swim the English Channel.
The event is the brain-child of Cardiff University Professor of Cardiology and Consultant Cardiologist at the University Hospital of Wales, Julian Halcox and Powys GP James Wrench, who've enlisted the support of five friends and fellow Welsh doctors and scientists to form a seven man charity relay team.
"I used to swim and play waterpolo at a fairly competitive level when at school and University, I also played with James and other members of the channel team whilst at medical school. Three of them also swam the channel in the summer of 1988 – so we have some idea of what we’re letting ourselves in for," according to Professor Halcox.
"I suppose the plan was hatched after realising that five members of the team, who all trained together in London, are now in various guises working in Wales. We thought it would be a good idea to get the team back together to do something that would help us get fit, have some fun and support a great cause," he added.
The seven man team will each swim for an hour at a time and hope to raise as much funding as possible for Heart Research Fund for Wales – a dedicated Welsh charity set-up by heart specialists at the University Hospital of Wales to help fund research and specialist education measures to help prevent  avoidable deaths from heart disease.
In addition to Professor Halcox and Dr Wrench, the team consists of Cardiff-based Dr Phil Freeman, a Welsh Clinical Academic Trainee in Cardiology based at Cardiff University and Consultant Neurologist based at the University Hospital of Wales, Dr Robin Corkill.
The other members of the team include Professor Marc Clement from Swansea University, Jon David a Community Pharmacist based in North Wales and Dr Stuart D’Arcy, the Director of Microbiology for Public Health Wales in Bangor.  

Professor Halcox adds: "It’s a sad fact that heart disease remains the principal cause of death in both men and women living in Wales - its incidence here is also amongst the highest in the world.

"The Heart Research Fund for Wales is different in that it ensures that all money raised in Wales is spent in Wales. It helps me and my colleagues access vital funds – not otherwise available - to purchase equipment and reagents or pay the salaries and course expenses of research doctors, nurses and technicians.

"We need to drastically cut the number of unnecessary deaths from premature heart disease in Wales.

"We hope by taking on this challenge we can play our part by raising much needed funds."

The attempt takes place on the 26th September, 2013.

For further information or to sponsor visit: or send donations direct to The Heart Research fund for Wales



For further information or media interview, please contact:

Chris Jones
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20 874731

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities.  Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans.  Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places.