Watermans to the Wall supports a worthy cause

12 April 2021

Later this month swimmers from right across Perth will join together to swim for an incredibly important cause. The annual Watermans to the Wall open water swim will take place on Monday 26th April, raising funds to support the amazing Ridley family's journey with cancer.

Andrew Ridley with the WA Pool Lifesaving teamAndrew Ridley is the coach of WA’s Pool Life Saving State Team and has been involved with a whole range of swimming and lifesaving clubs over the years, including West Life Saving, Craigie SwimFit, H2O Fitness Academy, City of Joondalup / Craigie Leisure Centre, WestSwim Craigie / Swimming WA, Breakers Swim Club, North Coast Tri Club and Surf Life Saving WA State Teams. He’s been instrumental in the development of incredible young swimmers and lifesavers, and now’s the time for those swimmers to support his family.

In February 2013 Andrew’s wife, Carly, was diagnosed with a rare form a cancer, Angiosarcoma. Carly has always been really firm that cancer is a word and not a sentence, and has never viewed it as a battle, but rather a journey. 8 years ago doctors told Carly she would not survive 5 years, but they didn't know the drive this amazing woman has to live - her spirit and love of life.

Angiosarcoma is one of the most aggressive cancers and has a dismal prognosis with a 5-year overall survival rate of 30%. It is also extremely rare. Over the last 8 years, Carly's cancer had resurfaced 3 times before she thought she had beaten it. Carly underwent 2 mastectomies, Chemo, Radiation, and 2 other invasive surgeries. She changed her lifestyle, eliminating all non-plant-based foods, sugar and chemicals from her diet, and eliminating all toxins from her house. Carly is past the 5-year average survival period - due mainly to her lifestyle choices, positive attitude and strength, but - like most journeys - this one has not been all smooth sailing.Carly and Amdrew Ridley with daughter Amelie

Last October Carly was admitted to hospital for back pain - Angiosarcoma had spread to her spine and fractured several vertebrae. Whilst in hospital her humorous shattered due to a tumour which had eaten away at the bone. Carly underwent a reverse shoulder replacement as well as pain management for her back. Just recently in mid-March, one of Carly's vertebrae shattered and she was rushed back to hospital for spinal fusion, with 10 rods inserted. With the support of her family and friends, her medical team and Silver Chain, the Ridley family home has been made safe and accessible for Carly, and she continues to kick goals.

Andrew with a surf club teamSo far, Carly's treatment has cost more than $90,000. She continues regular chemotherapy, as well as a range of complimentary therapies, physical therapy and mind-set techniques. She works with both her oncologist and naturopathic oncologist. In order to assist the family with these ongoing costs the Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club decided that all funds - including entry fees, donations, merchandise and food sales - from this year’s Watermans to the Wall swim will go to the Carly Ridley Benefit Fund.

Event Organiser Richard Milloy says they’re pleased to be able to assist. “This has been a long-standing event on their club calendar which typically raises money for the planned club room upgrades. However thankfully, due to a recent grant by the State Government, the Club is now keen to support one of their own and turn their fundraising efforts toward raising money for the Ridley family.”

You can support the fundraising effort by registering to take part in the swim at the link below.

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If you’re not so keen to get your bathers on, but would still like to show your support, you can simply donate at the Go Fund Me link below.

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There is also an online auction being held as part of the swim, with incredible prizes on offer, so head to the link below to make your bid today!

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Andrew Ridley and his family have been amazing advocates and supporters of swimming and lifesaving in WA for many years, and Royal Life Saving WA encourages all of our supporters to get behind this incredibly worthy cause.