The skies were dark, the weather was windy and cold, and the water was churning with unusually high swells and chop as 40 Team Hydro swimmers prepared for the 2021 Alcatraz Swim for Hydrocephalus Research! There is no question that the conditions pricked at our nerves as we prepared to jump into the Bay, but the camaraderie of the swimmers united in our quest to find a cure for this difficult disease made it impossible to dampen our spirits — so into the water we went!
Buoyed by our desire to honor the strength, courage, and perseverance of the over one million Americans who struggle and fight every single day as they seek to live with hydrocephalus, our intrepid swimmers battled the waves and the cold and ALL made it safely back to shore where they were greeted by cheering family, friends and other on-land supporters. The efforts of the Team also raised an incredible $84,000 and counting! Because Team Hydro continues to operate with zero-overhead model (any costs are underwritten by targeted sponsorships), every single penny of this amazing total will go directly to fund important hydrocephalus research!
There is no question that the Team continues to be motivated by the importance of our mission to find a cure for this difficult and often devastating disease. The Team got fired up for the swim by listening to the stories of hydrocephalus patients, several of whom were swimming with us! Kate Damrell and Kyle Voulgaris who both live with shunted hydrocephalus talked about the challenges and uncertainty that impact their lives every day, and three year old Amelia also warmed our hearts with a sweet hello from the arms of her father Tom Coury who completed his fourth crossing with Team Hydro! Each speaker expressed gratitude to the swimmers, donors and on-land supporters who are helping to ensure a brighter future for people living with hydrocephalus by supporting research.
Pam Finlayson, mother of a patient who passed away 10 years ago from the condition underscored this message of gratitude as she reflected on her swim, “For me the swim provided a new challenge as I swam for the first time without a wetsuit! I made it across successfully mostly because I was inspired thinking of Kate and the many friends and family who have supported us during our life’s journey! As I bounced up and down in the waves and chop, I couldn’t help but be grateful for all those who have and still encourage and support us– not only as we struggled during Kate’s lifelong illness and later sought to come to terms with her passing, but now as we seek to continue to raise funds for ongoing research year after year! Your goodness and generosity astounds and inspires us! Thank you so very much for your love, encouragement and support!”
There is no question that our 2021 swim was a resounding success! Thank you so very much to EVERY swimmer, donor and on-land supporter helping to make our hope of finding new treatments and a cure for hydrocephalus a reality!
Please read HERE about our approach to research, and the incredible research your donations are currently helping to fund!