Young girl inspired by mother

CARING: Mackenzie Bell, 6, in action at the swim.
CARING: Mackenzie Bell, 6, in action at the swim.

WHEN more than 1300 people from across Australia took part in the annual MS 24-Hour Mega Swim, Squash and Racquetball event, the Port's own six-year-old participant, Mackenzie Bell, was standing among them.

Swimming in a bid to help raise funds for people living with multiple sclerosis, it was a matter close to Mackenzie's heart because her mother, Deanna Bell, has been diagnosed with the condition.

The MS 24-Hour Swim raised money for the MS Go for Gold Program, which gives those living with the condition the opportunity to follow a dream.

Whether it be pursuing aspirations in the fields of employment, sport, travel, education or the arts, all dreams are considered and Mrs Bell herself once received money as part of the program.

"My mum suffers from MS and received the Go for Gold Scholarship in 2010. I wanted to help raise money so others with MS can be awarded the scholarship as well," Mackenzie said.

The funds also help financial support programs and services provided by MS Australia to benefit people living with MS.

The 24-hour swim took place on May 3 to 4 and Mrs Bell said the best part about it was that people of all abilities and ages could participate.

"Mackenzie was the youngest entrant at six years old," Mrs Bell said

She swam about 1.5 kilometres, averaging 100 metres each hour she was awake, and Mrs Bell said she loved every moment.

"She remained at the event for the full 24 hours and had a blast taking part in it. She was the star of her team."

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