Team Hydro sets its sights on the Boston Harbor!

On September 20th, Team Hydro will return to the Boston Harbor for its second annual Boston Sharkfest swim.  Team Hydro Boston promises to include an interesting list of members, including medical students, researchers,  engineers,  and business folks.  As always, we come with many backgrounds but with the common goal of bringing Hydrocephalus the funding and awareness that it deserves.

If you are interested in taking on our “Icy Bay Challenge” 🙂  sign up here:

And add your personal fundraising page here:

We couldn’t be more excited!

Penguins Take Flight in Another Successful Swimathon!

On July 10th, the Mighty Penguins of the Little Falls Swim Team, completed their 3rd  Swim-a-thon in support of Hydrocephalus!  Once again, the Penguin’s incredible effort was a smashing success; they raised over $8,000 for Hydrocephalus research funding!

While dedicating the Swim-a-thon to patients of Hydrocephalus everywhere, the team put a personal touch on the event by having each of the 90 teammates swim in honor of a particular individual who lives with, or has passed away from, the condition.   After learning about their patients’ stories, the swimmers proudly adorned themselves with a wrist band bearing their honoree’s name and were thrilled to be able to support those challenged with hydrocephalus, by challenging themselves in the water.  Parent Organizer, Joey Lampl, agreed that pairing each swimmer with a real person with hydrocephalus was quite meaningful for the kids: “There was tremendous interest in the stories. The kids showed remarkable maturity in approaching the content (which often explained just how difficult living with hydrocephalus can be), and really gave it their all in the water!  I think the swimmers felt a real bond with the person represented by the name on their bracelet”.  

Then it was off to the races!

We “couldn’t be prouder” of the kind hearts and incredible tenacity demonstrated by the Little Falls Team.  All of us at Team Hydro could not be more thrilled, or more honored to be TEAMMATES with the Penguins of Little Falls in our fight against hydrocephalus!  

Thank you Penguins!!!!

Little Falls Poised for Swim

The swim-a-thon took place in two sessions.  Above, the morning session smiles before diving in for the Swim!  The Penguins’ effort for Hydrocephalus was also featured in a newspaper article in the Bethesda, Maryland Gazette! Check it out here:

LF Newspaper

Go Team Hydro, and Go Little Falls!  Hoo Haa!!  

Go Team Hydro Penguins!

Go Team Hydro Penguins!

Pysch Board???????????????????????????????


Why we do What we do….

It is easy to get caught up in our lives.  Whether we are overwhelmed by the acute stress of tragedies, worn down by the relentlessness of chronic challenges, or simply distracted by the mundane tasks of day to day living, it happens to us all.  We also occasionally have those moments of clarity — where everything makes sense, where our priorities are clear.

I just came across the last two messages I exchanged with my sister, Kate, not TOO long before she was hospitalized for what proved to be the last time.  This is a little more personal than I typically like to be, but I wanted to share this as a reminder of why we do what we do.  I miss my sister every day.  For me, this is a good reminder to live my life in a way to make her smile whenever she looks down on me.

Hydrocephalus is a condition affecting REAL people in REAL ways.  People feel alone.  Misunderstood.  Hopeless.  Helpless.  It doesn’t need to be that way.  It shouldn’t be that way.  None of us are ever REALLY alone, even if we REALLY feel alone.  Someone somewhere understands what we’re going through.  As long as we keep putting one foot in front of the other, there is always hope, and we’re never helpless.


To any out there feeling worn out or run down, know you’re loved.  Things will get better, even if we don’t know how or when.  They will.   Treat those around you with love and respect.  Build them up.  Never miss a chance to help or uplift.  Live your life such that YOU will be proud of the way YOU’VE lived — You never know when an interaction will be the last — or who may be smiling down on you.

~Peter Finlayson

Support the Cause:


Using their Strength to Serve: Penguins to Swim Again for Hydrocephalus Research!!

Team Hydro is proud to announce that The Mighty Penguins of Little Falls Swim Team will once again take to the water to raise funds and awareness for Hydrocephalus Research!  On July 10th, for the 3rd year in a row, this amazing summer recreational Swim Team from Bethesda, Maryland will put their personal racing goals aside, and instead hold a Swim-a-thon for Hydrocephalus Research!


The Penguin swim team, known throughout their Montgomery County Swim League for having exceptional team spirit and comraderie, is comprised of about 90 swimmers ranging in age from 5-18.  Swimmers from the youngest age group on up will obtain sponsors and then swim as many laps as they can to gain donations for the Team Hydro Cause.  Every penny raised will go directly to Hydrocephalus Research!!

Little Falls first became involved with Team Hydro in 2012 after learning that Kate Finlayson, a former swimmer and Penguin teammate, had died from hydrocephalus after years of struggling to treat this difficult and incurable condition.  Learning how Kate had endured more than 100 brain surgeries in a effort to stay alive, the Team decided to do what they could to stop such suffering.  Within a matter of weeks, thanks to the dedication and leadership of parent coordinator Nancy LaVigne (who has two young sons on the team), the Little Falls / Team Hydro Swim-a-thon for Hydrocephalus was born! In just two short summers, the Team has already raised over $10,000 for Hydrocephalus Research!!

Passionate about their effort to help find a cure for Hydrocephalus, the Team has once again set a goal of raising $5000 during the 2014 Swim-a-thon!  Parent Swim-a-thon Coordinator Joey Lampl, has been working hard for weeks to ensure the swimmers are ready for the Big Day.  In order to make the event as meaningful as possible for all involved, the penguins will have opportunities to learn about hydrocephalus so that they can better understand the condition they are working so hard to support.  The kids will make cards to send to patients in hospitals across the country, will play games which teach hydrocephalus facts, and will listen to stories of people who are living with the condition.


The swimmers will also be paired, as special “Teammates”, with a person who is currently living with hydrocephalus, or who has passed from the condition.  Each penguin swimmer will receive a hospital band with a real patient’s name, along with a copy of their personal hydrocephalus story. The hospital bands will be worn for a week leading up to and through the swim, and will allow each swimmer to dedicate their effort in honor of a real person. We hope this pairing will allow the swimmers to feel more personally connected to the 1.2 million very real individuals in this country who are desperately hoping that some day, through research and effort, a CURE for hydrocephalus will be found.


The hospital bands will also serve as conversation starters for the kids with friends, family, and supporters–as people ask why the swimmer is wearing a hospital band, the penguins will be given opportunities to explain their participation in the Little Falls Team Hydro Swim-a-thon, and share with others the desperate need for more research on this difficult neurological condition to occur!


Team Hydro is so happy and honored to welcome the Penguins to its Roster once again, in 2014!!  We are certain that every Team Hydro Swimmer, donor, and on-land supporter, past and present, joins us in saluting these wonderful young athletes!!! We will be rooting for you from all over the USA as you Swim for a Cure, and then complete your own competitive season! Go Penguins!

YOU can donate to the Little Falls / Team Hydro Swim-a-thon here: 





Genentech Honors Team Hydro



Genentech, Inc. a biotechnology corporation headquartered in the Silicon Valley of California, recently announced it will be contributing $3,000 to the Team Hydro effort to fund hydrocephalus research!!   Committed to supporting the community in which it resides, each year Genentech chooses several service organizations in which employees are engaged, and then makes a donation on the employee’s behalf.  Team Hydro could not be more excited to have been selected to receive such a donation in 2014!  The Company also sent an article to its over 12,000 Genentech employees highlighting Team Hydro and our efforts to raise awareness and funds for hydrocephalus research!

Team Hydro sends a big THANK YOU to Genentech for their generous support!

Thanks too, to every Team Hydro swimmer, donor, and on-land supporter, for helping us continue to raise awareness, and make a difference for those living with hydrocephalus!

Read the Genentech article below:


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2014 Alcatraz Swim Photo Highlights!

2014 was another WONDERFUL year for the Alcatraz swim! Read on to enjoy some great moments from the day!  If you have PHOTOS from the event, POST THEM HERE! You can also check out more videos and photos on our facebook page.  We hope to see YOUR smiling face in Boston in September, or in SF in 2015!! Visit our Team Hydro Event Pages and Register now!


Every Team Hydro Swimmer successfully completed the 2014 Escape from the Rock!  ALL involved had a great time as we developed camaraderie, recruited some terrific new teammates, and raised LOTS of Awareness (and $$) for our Cause!!  More details, photos, and videos to come, but rest assured, we had another wonderful Alcatraz swim!  We enjoyed a great turnout and a beautiful day (despite some rocking waves in the Bay)!!  Thanks to all our Swimmers, Sponsors, and On-land Supporters for making this the 2014 Alcatraz Swim a Success!

 Here is a video of the waters we crossed on the day of the swim, June 7, 2014!

Ready to Swim the Alcatraz Escape with Team Hydro?!!

Registration for the 2015 SHARKFEST is open NOW at:  Make sure you check the  TEAM HYDRO box on the registration page!!

June 7th – ALCATRAZ Swim is Upon Us!

Some last minute reminders for those attending the swim tomorrow!

Team Hydro Table Location: We have an HQ in the grandstands to gather and listen to pre-race announcements, take a team photo, and walk together to the ferries! (Look for the TEAM HYDRO banner). Make this where you and your loved ones gather before (and after) the swim!

Race Check-in: Check-in runs from 5:30-6:45am. Once you check in at the Sharkfest desk, be sure to come to our Team Hydro Table by the Team Hydro Banner in the grandstands and pick up:

  • Your SPECIAL TEAM HYDRO/ SHARKFEST CAP!  Even if you have not fund-raised, wearing a cap helps raise awareness.  Please get yours and wear it with pride! These caps are made especially for us and provided by the Sharkfest organizers to support our Cause! The different color helps us stand out from the “regular” swimmers! 🙂
  • Your Team Hydro Swim Bracelet! We have a tradition at Team Hydro of allowing each swimmer to swim in honor or memory of a real person with Hydrocephalus. Along with each bracelet, we will give you a copy of the person’s personal Hydrocephalus Story. We have found this inspires our swimmers to race even faster, even as it helps to make this condition “Real” for those just seeking to understand.

After the Race, be sure to pick up some complementary hot chocolate and snacks in the Team Hydro area. We will also have tee shirts, sweatshirts, hats and towels for sale (cheap to swimmers). 🙂 Show your Team Hydro Pride all year–and perhaps get a few compliments as people realize you conquered the Sharkfest Escape from Alcatraz Swim!!

We are so excited for tomorrow, and honored to swim with you all!

The Finlayson Family