5th Annual SwimmingStClair Fundraiser
To those of you who have been following us and have been active fundraising participants, “We Salute You”. Without you this doesn’t work - we appreciate your continued support.
On Tuesday, July 17th, 2012, a small group of adventurers who clearly exhibit more persistence than brains will again attempt to swim the length of Lake St Clair, beginning just south of the Old Club on Harsen’s Island, and ending at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. Normally I would say, “if the weather cooperates”, but our last 4 swims have each brought unique weather-related challenges, so I won’t bother. However, I will say that if the wind once again comes out of the southwest, it will make for another challenging year.
Our chase boat will again be donated and captained by Mike Stevens, who will also be one of the swimmers, though this year Mr. Blake Kenny may also be “with boat”… They, along with the 4 crazed Seadoo pilots, will stay with us as we make our way on what was last year a weather-shortened 12.5 mile, 7 hour swim. Our hope is to make it the entire 14.2 miles again this year. We are hoping to avoid the driving rain, lightning and hail that characterized 2009’s swim, and the relentless winds coming out of southwest that pounded us in 2010 and 2011.
The purpose of our effort is to bring more attention to those afflicted with cystic fibrosis and to raise funds for Rickie’s Medical Trust Fund. Rickie, who is just about to turn 11, was diagnosed with cf on October 12th, 2007. Cf is a hereditary disease that attacks the lungs and the pancreas. It eventually blocks air flow in the lungs, and can also block the ability of the body to pull necessary nutrients from food. The good news is that the national cf foundation is making tremendous progress in developing medicines – the average lifespan of cf patients is now nearly 40 years, up from about 17 years less than 25 years ago. The bad news is that it is still a deadly disease. The lesson is that we all have to be our own patient advocates – it helps good doctors make better decisions. Please click on www.swimmingstclair.com to learn more. If you can donate to Rickie’s Medical Fund, it would be appreciated. If you are interested in learning more about the disease, or in donating to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, please click on www.cff.org. There is a way to donate money on behalf of the Metro Detroit Chapter in Rickie’s name if you’d like to do that as well. Either way, thanks again for your support and interest, especially in today’s economy.
2011 was a big year for one of swimmers – Jenny Bermelin, who took on the English Channel three weeks after she swam with us, and became the first Michigan woman and the fastest American woman in 2011 to successfully cross the channel. We are very proud of her, and wish her the best – she is unable to make our swim this year because she is due to give birth in less than two months. Actually, she is still considering swimming with us anyway. This is why we call her “La Machine”. Please click on www.jennybirmelin.com to read about her incredible exploits.
Please pass this on if you know someone who might be interested. And if you come across someone else who has cf – please ask them to contact us. We’d like to get them hooked into the fabulous assistance network provided by the National CF Organization, a model for charitable organizations nationwide. They can help, through medical research, through financial advising and through working together, but individuals need to contact them.