Perth mum swims freezing waters of Loch Earn to help fight genetic disease

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Susie Johnston with her godson Felix Robertson.

A Perth mum took to the freezing waters of Loch Earn to raise money to fight a fatal genetic disease suffered by her godson.

Susie Johnston swam the 10,000 metre distance on Saturday without a wetsuit and aims to raise more than £5,000 for Duchenne UK, which carries out research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The 46-year-old decided to take the plunge in recognition of the plight of her five-year-old godson, Felix Robertson.

When only two-years-old, the little boy was diagnosed with the life-shortening muscle-wasting disease, which results in loss of mobility by early teens and invariably death by the patients’ 20s.

Susie was joined in the water by 70 other brave and hardy charity swimmers who began at Lochearnhead and swam eastward through the chilly loch to emerge cold but elated at St Fillans.

Susie, who started open water swimming in her 20s when living in Sydney, Australia, and has since explored many Scottish lochs, was cheered from the lochside and met at the end by Felix and his parents, Alasdair Robertson and Robyn Pete, who travelled to the event from their Gloucestershire home.

Susie said: “My thoughts of Felix  most certainly kept me going. I’m incredibly proud that my son Angus offered to join me for the final 1,000m of the swim.

“My godson Felix is a very brave little boy and I am very grateful to all who have already supported this fundraising effort to help scientists one day find a cure for what is a terrible disease.

“Felix’s parents Alasdair and Robyn have dedicated their life to fundraising into the research to find a potential cure for this cruel disease and have already raised in excess of £100,000.

“If anyone wishes to donate to my contribution they can do so on my justgiving page and all donations will be very gratefully received.”

Susie, who is an established visual artist with a studio and gallery in Dundee, has already reached £4,454 of her £5,000 fundraising target.

Anyone wishing to donate funds should visit