I'm still in shock and finding it hard to accept that the incredible, beautiful, talented, inspiring Chester Bennington, whose words and voice have helped me through so much over the last 17 years, is no longer with us. The news broke just 17 days after I was mere metres from him performing on stage at The O2 Arena, London. It still doesn't feel real, but in trying to think of a way to turn this nightmare into something positive I've come up with this...
On Sunday 23rd July 2017 I will be swimming the 6.5km around Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour. I have done this swim before and, as I'm fundraising for other events already (including for the Isle of Wight Samaritans for my Solent Swim in October), I had decided not to fundraise this time. But in the wake of the news of Chester's suicide I thought it would be quite fitting to use this opportunity to fundraise for Linkin Park's charity; Music For Relief.
I did this swim last year, but this year I have suffered a shoulder injury which has prevented me from training. In all honesty I don't know if I can complete the swim. But I will do it in the name of the legend that is Chester Bennington, taken from us far too soon. It will be slow, but I WILL complete this swim. For Chester. And for what he believed in and fought for.
I'd like to thank him for sharing with us his voice, his words and his humble honesty. I've struggled with mental illness since I can remember and, like so many others, his angelic voice has helped me through some very tough times and I think it's pretty safe to say I would not be here if it wasn't for him and his amazing band mates that make up the awesome Linkin Park.
For Chester. For his wife Talinda, and his kids. For Mike, Brad, Joe, Rob and Dave. And for all the good they do through Music For Relief xxx