Community hero swims six hours to fund breast cancer research

May 13th, 2015

Meeting Anne Hemmings for the first time, two things became clear: she is more determined than most and her determination is only outweighed by her modesty. She is truly a community fundraising hero – let’s find out why.

Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery in 2013; two weeks later she entered to run the Sun-Herald City2Surf. During that event Anne met the National Breast Cancer Foundation Pink Cheer Squad and knew in 2014 she would run for NBCF.




Fast-forward to 2014 and true to her word, Anne signed up to run the City2Surf with a fundraising goal for NBCF of $2,000. Initially apprehensive about reaching her fundraising goal, Anne asked herself “How can I possibly do this?” But, with sheer determination and by focusing on what she was good at (swimming), Anne planned a fundraising event to swim 15,000 meters to represent the number of Australians diagnosed with breast cancer each year.


Another of Anne’s admirable qualities is her way with people. Her friends and family were instrumental in her recovery, but when they heard her idea to swim 300 laps of an Olympic sized pool, they told her it was impossible. This only made Anne more determined. Cheered on by a committee of family and friends on a cold winter’s day, Anne dived into Leichhardt Pool armed with her remarkable self-belief and completed the 15 km swim in six hours.  Although physically tired, she was mentally encouraged by her supporters.

Anne’s fundraising story didn’t end the moment her hand touched the blocks for the three hundredth time. The purpose of the swim was to fundraise for the 2014 City2Surf and by the time Anne was ready to make the 14 km run to Bondi, she had raised a whopping $20,000 – a huge achievement from a very special person.


Anne’s secrets to fundraising successUntitled-design-(5)

– Set yourself goals

– Start with family and friends

– Get the word out there, don’t be (too) shy

– Ask and ask again

Anne’s advice to people worried about reaching their fundraising target

– Find something you like to do and use that as an inspiration to fundraise

– Ask everyone and anyone “I had total strangers donate and believe me I am still overwhelmed by the support I received”

– It may seem daunting to approach people for prizes/support but they are always willing to help out

– Never give up asking or thinking of some way to raise that little bit more

How can you get involved?
Pledge to donate, join the 2015 City2Surf team, fundraise or volunteer your support at  Every dollar raised helps take NBCF closer towards our goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.