A 36-year-old from Poland will be swimming in Glasgow to raise money for the Beatson Cancer Charity and a school-building project in Malawi. 

Kasia Owczarek and her partner, James, 31, are swimming a mile in the Great Scottish Swim for the charity that supported her auntie. 

Kasia said: “My auntie was diagnosed with bone cancer in October last year. 

“Sadly, she passed away at the end of March this year and although doctors prepared us to expect her health deteriorate fast due to the type of cancer she had, it still left us completely shocked.” 

She added: “I remember visiting her at the Beatson hospital in Glasgow and being very impressed and grateful that a place like that exists; it gives people the hope and support they need during such a hard time.” 

“My auntie has always been an inspiration to me and I pretty much followed in her footsteps when I left Poland to come to Glasgow 12 years ago. 

“As well as being named after her, she was also my godmother. 

“My mum and Kasia have always been very close so it makes it that much more difficult not having her in our lives anymore.”

The Great Scottish Swim takes place on Saturday 26 August at Loch Lomond, offering distances of half a mile, a mile, two miles, 5K and 10K to suit every swimming ability. 

Kasia said: “This year is my second time I will be swimming in the Great Scottish Swim; last year I was a complete newbie.

“I've always loved swimming and water sports but open water swimming is a completely different beast. 

In addition to raising money for the Beatson Cancer Charity, some of the funds will go towards the Classrooms for Malawi Project, which is another cause that is close to her heart. 

Kasia said: “A group of council volunteers, including me, will be travelling to Malawi on 4 July to build a school, nursery and a playground for kids in a small village called William. 

“The aim of the project is to fight poverty with education and opportunities it will create for children in Malawi.”

Being able to support both charities has motivated Kasia to return to the event for her second year as well as convincing her partner to cross the finish line with her.

“Last year felt so amazing finishing it with a smile on my face and feeling like I can do anything!”

Support Kasia's fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Kasia-Owczarek 

Entries for the Great Scottish Swim are now open. Enter at: http://www.greatrun.org/great-swim/great-scottish-swim