Pain Patient ICE SWIM record attempt on 18 July 2022 raises over $28k for research! Hear Charm on ABC Radio.

July 18, 2002 – 1.4km swim in 3.5deg C water temperature!

July 24, 2022 – Charm interviewed on ABC’s “Australia All Over

Charm was interviewed by Ian ‘Macca’ McNamara on ABC Radio on Sunday 24th July at approximately 8:00am. If you would like to listen here is THE LINK to Macca’s podcast. Note that it’s a four and half-hour program. Fast forward to 2:47:18 and Charm’s interview with Kieran Kelly and Macca runs for about five minutes.

This is a follow-up interview after Macca chatted with her the prior Sunday. The earlier chat is here is at THIS LINK to Macca’s podcast. Fast forward to 2:20:50 and Charm’s interview runs for about seven minutes.

Charm was also interviewed by Melbourne’s top-rating radio presenter Neil Mitchell on 3AW during the week, just an hour before her swim on 18th. Here is THE LINK to his interview.

July 18, 2022 – update

She came, she gave it her all but sadly the incredibly amazing Charm Frend had to call off her attempt to break the Women’s world record ice swim this morning at Lake Crackenback.

In freezing conditions and 3.5deg water temperature, the Pain Foundation’s brave ambassador struggled for 1.4km before calling it a day because of health and safety concerns.

However, her world record attempt did raise almost $27k for the Pain Foundation and we are deeply grateful for her commitment and dedication to this tough sport. We would like to thank the more than 220 people who have already donated to the Pain Foundation in support of Charm, and we are still receiving donations for pain research AND your messages for Charm at THIS LINK.

July 16, 2022 (pm) – update

All is in readiness for Charm and her team to depart for Thredbo on Sunday 17th July. So apart from swimming long distances off Balmoral Beach every week, Charm’s training also incorporates gym workouts and LagreeFIT. And all this, with an existing back injury which has been already operated on 10 times.

Charm, like the more than three million other Australians, has lived with chronic pain almost all her life because of a degenerative spinal issue that began when she was 16.

Her strength, determination and pure grit has seen her compete in long-distance swimming events for many years, with help from the amazing clinical teams at the Pain Research Management Institute at Royal North Hospital. Without their ongoing support, she openly admits she would not be where she is today. Depression is a key issue that chronic pain sufferers endure and Charm is no stranger to having to deal with her emotional well-being as well as her physical issues, as she powers towards her July goal.

The Pain Foundation is thrilled to support Charm and we would like your help to assist her. We welcome your donation as she trains for her world-record attempt.

Charm has now raised $28,407 towards her goal of $30,000. Read her story and see if you are inspired to help her! (12/8/2022)

How to donate to Charm’s Project? You may direct deposit into BSB 182-512 Acct 969025279 (don’t forget to leave your name/email for the receipt) or via credit card by hitting this DONATE button.


“I had a very disappointing day yesterday in which I made the decision to cancel my swim attempt for this year. I say I decided but after a mammoth effort from Narelle Simpson – my swim coach – in speaking to I think everyone in NSW health we were unable to get permission to travel down to the Snowy’s. By the time we would be able to get there the water will be too warm. I think I need to be married to a league player.

“I understand all the reasons why given our current climate but it doesn’t make me feel that much better. I’ll be ok in a few days but it is taking a while to process. One of the main things that is bugging me is that everyone has been so generous in their support and donations over the last few months (for that a massive thank you) and I can’t do my bit.”

On 30th July, she wrote: “So not surprisingly my swim has been pushed out a few weeks. I tried really hard for an exemption so we could have a go on the 2nd but wasn’t successful. The swim will still be at Crackenback and aiming for around the 29th August. Water will hopefully still be cool. A friend who is there at the moment took it today and it was 2.8 degrees so I wouldn’t mind if it was a bit warmer than that.”

Charm in training, including the dreaded ice bath!

June 15, 2021

I can’t remember the last day I wasn’t experiencing pain.

I’m not starting with this statement to get sympathy. It’s part of what’s made me who I am today and for the most part I’m pretty happy with that.

Apparently I have been born with degenerative discs which began to make themselves known when I was in my late teens. When I was 20 I had my first lot of back surgery and had several more over the next 18 odd years. I don’t regret any procedure that I went through as they all helped me in some way. But the degree of assistance they gave diminished over each one.

In 2009 I was referred to the Pain Clinic at North Shore Hospital where I met Prof Michael Cousins (and later on Dr Rebecca Martin) and the rest of the team. This place is the reason I am here today.

Their multidisciplinary approach, individual treatment plans and honesty about my condition have enabled me to cope with chronic pain and the life it entails. It’s been a combination of noninvasive, invasive procedures and mental training that has got me here. I still attend the clinic for treatment now.

It’s for these reasons that I am aiming to raise money for the Pain Foundation to help them expand and further their research into chronic pain and its management so others can benefit like I have.

I’m a swim coach by trade who has trained and supported dozens of long distance Channel swims around the world. While this has been an amazing experience I’ve struggled with it a bit as these swims were something I have always wanted to do myself. My spine had other ideas.

Over the years I’ve alternated through stages of being able to swim quite well to not being able to swim at all. Walking with a stick to taking the dogs for a massive walk. Weighing nearly 90 kg to down to 70 and training with a PT twice a week. Last year a friend suggested I try and do an ice mile and I discovered I can swim quite well in cold water.

On August 20th 2020 I became the second Australian female to swim an Ice Mile (1600m in water under 5 degrees) and then 3 days later the second Australian and the only Australian female to swim an Extreme Ice Mile (2km in under 5 degrees). At the moment I’m 25th in the world in the distance travelled in cold water.

This year I am aiming to swim as far as I can in water under 5 degrees. The world record is 3.75km and the female world record is 3.3km. I think I can beat these!

To find out more or to help research into understanding pain please contact Louise at the Pain Foundation on email



We’re always in need of additional funding assistance

Clinic Administration Enquiries

Bernadette Foley
Michael J Cousins Pain Management & Research Centre
Royal North Shore Hospital,
Douglas Building
T: +61 (0)2 9463 1500
F: +61 (0)2 9463 1050


Shaan & Geoffrey Verco, Pain Foundation Ltd
c/- PMRC, Douglas Building
Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards NSW 2065
T: +61 (0)401 140 921

Pain Foundation Ltd (“PFL”) is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. Eligible tax deductible donations have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR 1) status with the Australian Tax Office (ABN # 87 072 480 123).  PFL’s privacy policy may be found at THIS LINK.

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