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Kelowna  

Kelowna teen's epic swim

It took nearly 11 hours, but a 17-year-old Kelowna girl has completed her gruelling goal of swimming around Bowen Island.

Instead of resting, Emily Epp is now reaching for another milestone — she plans to swim across the English Channel next month, and she's raising thousands of dollars for a children's hospice in the process.

"Her dad and I are super proud," said Cheryl Epp, Emily's mom. "She blows us away with how determined she is and how hard she's been working."

Emily continuously swam about 30 kilometres around Bowen Island on Saturday, braving the frigid waters of Howe Sound in just a bathing suit, a swim cap and goggles.

The tough conditions were meant to prepare the teen for what she'll face during her 32-kilometre international swim in mid-July.

Emily has spent months training in Okanagan Lake and with her competitive swim team. She's using the swim as as an opportunity to raise money for Canuck Place.

Cheryl Epp said they started receiving care there about five years ago for their daughter Elan, who lost all of her motor control following a viral infection when she was 18 months old.

So far, Emily has raised more than $4,000, and a Vancouver-based foundation is matching all donations.



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