Richard Rogers and Ben Mulhern only just started learning to swim and on October 26 they’ll attempt to swim 25 lengths of the swimming pool at Clissold Leisure Centre to raise funds for Defrim Valteri, known as ‘Duffi’ by his friends.
Duffi, who worked as a plumber, was on holiday in Albania with his wife Beata and their three-year-old son Domenik in August. He was diving off a small manmade pier into the water, misjudged it and broke his neck.
An operation to stabilise him cost his family £17,000 and the only way to get him home to the UK given his condition was to charter a private jet (£25,000). Duffi didn’t have travel insurance.
Richard, who works as a carpenter and has worked with Duffi for over 12 years, said he was devastated to hear about the accident. He added: “I have forged a strong bond with him. I recall with great fondness working together with him on many jobs in London over the years. He was a fearless and productive worker always putting in the necessary graft to get a job done. It is his loyalty and friendship that I intend to honour and as such I have decided to raise some money to help him and his family through these difficult times. His wife Beata not only has to look after their three-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter but will also have to pay the mortgage and bills as well as worrying about Duffi and his welfare. They all face a difficult future and I am determined to do all I can to help them.
“I have never been able to swim and so in Duffi’s name I am determined to take on a challenge to raise some money for him. I am going to take on the challenge of a sponsored swim with my and Duffi’s friend, Ben Mulhern.
“Its a huge and daunting challenge for me but nothing like the challenge my friend Duffi and his family face over the coming years. All money raised will go straight to Duffi and his family.”
Duffi can now breathe unaided but remains completely paralysed. Richard and Ben hope to raise £42,000 via Crowdfunding – they’re up to £21,000. To sponsor them and show your support for Duffy visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sponsoredswimforduffy
Posted 8th October 2018
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