A newly engaged Albury couple is set to complete a 24-hour swim-a-thon in an effort to raise money and awareness for men's mental health.
Rod Marshdale and Jacqui Herrmann will take on the Head Above Water challenge in Sydney for Team Soul Vibe in March, but hope to see the Gotcha4Life initiative become an annual event on the Border.
Mr Marshdale, a double lung transplant recipient and Australian representative at the World Transplant Games, has previously swam 18 kilometres at the event, but this year is aiming for 25km.
Ms Herrmann has her sights set on 5km.
"I've never done that before," she said.
Swimming became an outlet for Mr Marshdale during some of his lowest moments mentally while battling cystic fibrosis.
"I found swimming was essential for me to get better," he said.
"It was part of my recovery."
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The pair would like to see the event brought to the Border this year, with funds raised to be put back into the community.
As someone who has called on the region's mental health services before, having the money stay locally is something Mr Marshdale is passionate about.
"We hope to raise $100,000 in its initial year to be fully directed into the Albury-Wodonga Border community to support men and boys at risk of suicide by providing access to current health services, as well as expand and ramp up those services," he said.
Ms Herrmann has also had her own experiences with mental health, having suffered through unrelenting droughts as a rice farmer before moving to Albury.
But the swim-a-thon is only a warm up for what Mr Marshdale has planned next.
He also has his sights set on swimming from Spain to Africa next year.
"I've hatched a plan to swim cross continent and I found out it's likely I'll be the first person in the world to swim cross continent with transplanted lungs," he said.
"It's a way of thanking my donor and their family and to raise organ donation awareness.
"I've had so much support over the years, so it's about giving back."
Donations can be made to Team Soul Vibe on the Head Above Water website.
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