17-year-old Emily Epp is used to pushing her mind and body to the limit.
On July 15 the Kelowna teenager became the youngest British Columbian to swim the English Channel.
Epp braved large ocean swells, choppy cold water, and nausea.
“It was physically getting nauseous, every single time I would drink, it would come back, so I wasn’t getting the same amount of nutrition that I was supposed to get. So we tailored it over to M & M’s and ginger ale just to get some sugar into me,” she told Global News on Friday.
She swam day and night for almost 12 hours; a grueling 32 kilometre stretch of channel.
In order to become part of the record books, Epp wasn’t allowed to touch the boat where her coaches and parents were on board.
The rule meant food and water had to be thrown to her attached to a rope.
Her only protection from the elements was a swim suit, cap and goggles.
Among the adversity she faced was stinging jelly fish.
“I got stung by my first jelly fish about three hours in. I had seen them go past me before that but they have this little stretch in the middle of the channel, you know you’re about half way, it’s about 400 metres, it’s just crammed full of jelly fish,” she said.
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Epp didn’t take on the challenge simply for the thrill.
She’s raised more than $47,000 dollars for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
It’s where her family stays when her younger sister Elan has treatment for a mysterious and crippling illness.
Today Epp was thanked for her contributions during an appreciation breakfast in Penticton.
“The funds that were raised by Emily will go a long way to ensure that we provide this care for children and families,” said Debbie Butt, Canuck Place Director of Communications.
After three years of serious training for the monumental feat, Epp is going to take the summer off before figuring out what comes next.
“Now I just don’t really know what to do I guess because I’ve spent so much of my time swimming and now for the rest of the summer I don’t have to, so it’s just what do I do with myself!” she said.