All at sea for charity
Lynne (also pictured inset) has been training in the Forth, off Gullane, in preparation for next Saturday's swim challenge
Lynne Parlett in training.
A FORMER triathlete whose fitness was severely depleted when she became afflicted with an auto-immune disease has found the strength to take part in the Great Scottish Swim for charity next weekend.
Lynne Parlett, from Pencaitland, was diagnosed with lupus in 2009. The disease causes the body's immune system to become hyperactive and attack normal healthy tissue, resulting in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling and damage to joints.
Lynne, who works as a medical receptionist, told the Courier: "I was very lucky because I was diagnosed in about a year and there are some sufferers who can have lupus for as long as eight years without it being recognised.
"It's known as the 'Great Imitator' because it can present a number of different symptoms and be easily confused with other illnesses.
"In my case I was extremely fatigued and I developed a skin rash.
"I was a triathlete and an adventure racer before I was diagnosed but after I fell ill my energy and fitness levels were completely gone.
"I'm much better now, as I receive treatment and medication to control the illness, but I can no longer run as my muscles and tendons simply aren't able to cope with it anymore."
The married 41-year-old - who lives with husband Alistair and their dog, Jack - is determined to raise as much money as she can for Lupus UK by completing a one-mile open water swim in next Saturday's Great Scottish Swim at Strathclyde Country Park.
Lynne has spent the past few weeks training for the swim in the waters off Gullane.
"Swimming is a great way for me to keep active as it supports me and exercises all of my joints and muscles, and gets my heart going," said Lynne.
"It's been a very gradual build up for me to get to this point. I found it very, very cold when I first started swimming in the open water and lupus affects the circulation, so my hands and feet were blue by the time I was finished!
"But I focus on what I can do, rather than what I can't and I'm so excited to be here. I just hope I manage the whole swim and raise lots of money for such a great charity.
"Many people with lupus aren't as lucky as I am, and the condition can lead to life threatening organ damage.
"I attend a monthly support group for lupus sufferers in East Lothian which takes place at the Brunton Theatre cafe in Musselburgh every first Saturday of the month at 10.30am. It's a great group and a vital service for people like me."
To sponsor Lynne, visit www.justgiving.com/lynnem-parlett