Diana has been one of my heroes since I was a kid in the 70s. I had the privilege of meeting Diana in LA ten years ago and was amazed at her humbleness, her gracious attitude and her heart. When Diana decided to bring back the extreme dream, I was watching every step of the way, even when I had to have major surgery in 2011. This year, I was at work the day the Extreme Dream was fulfilled, and said screw it, nothing is more important than a woman fulfilling her dreams and was watching all day. I cried when you walked ashore. My coworkers didn't understand. But that's okay. I understood, thousands of others understood. You are still my hero, Diana.
I coach a masters swim team, and I have made the theme for the year "Never, ever give up" in honor of you as well as one of our dear swimmers whom we lost to cancer over the summer. Kathleen embodied the Never, Ever Give Up spirit.
So, for all the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and for Kathleen, I am asking you to help me help them by donating to my swim with Diana Nyad.
(extra points for those of you who get the reference to "Naiads." jhere's a hint... it comes from Greek mythology. Just a little play on words!)
From the website: nyadswimforrelief.com
48 Hour Swim for Hurricane Sandy Recovery via AmeriCares
To mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad - fresh off her landmark swim from Cuba to Florida - helps power disaster recovery efforts through a 48-hour test of mental, physical and emotional endurance: the Nyad Swim for Relief. With the strength and support of P&G brands at her side, Diana Nyad swims for 48 continuous hours in the heart of New York City to raise funds for the AmeriCares Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.
The Nyad Swim for Relief reflects the emotional and mental strength it takes to overcome adversity and restore a sense of normalcy to lives disrupted by disasters. P&G brands such as Duracell, Tide and Secret are underwriting all production costs for the Nyad Swim for Relief, maximizing the donated funds that directly support Sandy recovery activities. In the months following Hurricane Sandy, AmeriCares distributed more than $6.4 million in aid to help survivors, including $3.5 million for medicines and relief supplies and $2.9 million in grants to community organizations providing services such as storm clean-up and mental health counseling. And the recovery efforts continue with so many storm survivors still in need of help.
Hurricane Sandy caused approximately $70 billion in damage across the Eastern seaboard, destroying 12,500 homes in New Jersey alone. To-date, in Ocean County, NJ, more than 25,000 residents are still displaced from their homes and in New York FEMA has again extended its deadline for Transitional Sheltering Assistance -- demonstrating the continued need for these recovery efforts.
A 40-yard, two-lane pool is installed in Herald Square for the event, allowing the public to witness Diana’s incredible display of perseverance while learning about AmeriCares important work of rebuilding lives.