Guest Post: “Swimming For Hydrocephalus” – Ethan Taswell, Little Falls Swim Coach

We couldn’t be more thrilled at yet another successful swim by the Little Falls Penguins!

Ethan Taswell, former swimmer and current coach at Little Falls wrote on the experience as follows:

Swimming with patients’ wristbands and in matching purple Team Hydro caps, the Little Falls Swim and Dive Team came together as one to raise spirits, awareness and funds to combat Hydrocephalus. A whiteboard reading “1 mile=64 lengths. How far will you swim?”  stood perched at the end of the lanes, and the team took this challenge to heart, diving in and swimming across the pool with purpose. Despite the threat of thunder in the afternoon, we were honored to see record turnout in our fourth year of this tradition. The unofficial numbers are in, with 104 Penguins swimming for a total of 9253 lengths (the equivalent of 231,325 meters), or over 144 miles.

We were thrilled this year to witness pre-teamers as young as four-years-old join the fight against Hydrocephalus.  With great determination these youngsters used their kickboards to complete many more laps than surely they have ever done before.  Tremendous maturity from kids of all ages was also displayed throughout the course of this year’s fundraiser, starting with a pep rally conversation about Little Falls’ own Kate Finlayson, and carrying through to card decoration for those in the hospital and the reading of real-life personal stories.  In addition, special recognition goes out to 11-year-olds Eli Glickman and James Marder, who each swam over 500 lengths to benefit the cause.

Our hope is that in the coming days and weeks, the donations will continue to roll in, so that we not only reach our goal of $7,000, but surpass it.


Thank you Ethan and all the Little Falls Penguins!

You can support them in their goal of raising $7,000 for Hydrocephalus research by clicking here!!!

Read more about the Penguins and their generous new tradition here.


Go Little Falls and Go Team Hydro!


Penguins Lead Another Successful Swim!

For the fourth consecutive year, the mighty Little Falls Penguins have lead an incredibly successful swim fundraiser for Hydrocephalus research and awareness.

Working in memory of their fallen teammate and in honor of Hydrocephalus patients worldwide, 96 swimmers swam 125 miles in the swim.  Each swimmer wore on his or her wrist a hospital band with the name of a former patient who battled with the condition.  The generous swimmers also wrote dozens of cards to share with patients currently battling Hydrocephalus in the hospital.

Support them in their goal of raising $7,000 for Hydrocephalus research by clicking here!!!

Read more about the Penguins and their generous new tradition here.

Little Falls Penguins Leading the Charge Once Again!

Today, the wonderful Little Falls Penguins — a swim club in Maryland and former home to Team Hydro inspiration Kate Finlayson — is rallying together and engaging in a Swim Fundraiser for Hydrocephalus!  This is in follow-up to a successful fundraiser last week at Chipotle, in which the team raised nearly $1000 — well on their way to their goal of raising $7,000 for Hydrocephalus this year.

Let’s all give a cheer and support for this wonderful team.

Thank you, Little Falls!  And good luck with your swim today and with the rest of your season!


Swimmer Spotlight: Ryan Purdy

We hope you had a wonderful 4th of July, full of fireworks and fun!   The freedom we celebrate certainly is a precious thing!  How lucky we are to be able to come and go as we please and take part whatever activities suit us.

But freedom is not quite as complete for a person with hydrocephalus. For at any given moment, the brain shunt they rely on for life could fail, sending them to the hospital for an emergency brain surgery!  Imagine living a life where one’s activities and plans are always confined by the possibility of life threatening medical emergency!?!

As a case in point,  just last year one of your fellow team hydro swimmers, Ryan Purdy, who also happens to live with shunt dependent hydrocephalus, was all set and ready to swim with us at Sharkfest. But the day before the swim, Ryan suddenly began getting intractable headaches. A trip to his neurosurgeon confirmed that the shunt his life depended upon, had indeed failed once again!  So while the rest of us were boarding the ferries for our escape from the rock, Ryan was entering the operating room to undergo brain surgery in an attempt to save his life! Such is the uncertain life of a person with hydrocephalus.  But the uncertainty can end, IF we find a cure!!!

Let’s do what we can to help Ryan, and others like him, by sponsoring research for this difficult condition!!

Won’t you ask a couple friends today to support you in your effort to raise funds and awareness for hydrocephalus research?

If you haven’t set up your fundraising page, you can do it here: it’s easy as american apple pie, and as impactful as a grand fireworks display!!

Happy birthday America! We salute you! We also salute  Ryan,  and all our team hydro swimmers!!  Let freedom, and freedom from the uncertainly of hydrocephalus, ring!!!

If you are uncertain how to raise funds, check out some helpful hints here:

Little Falls “Hydro Penguins” to Swim Again for Hydrocephalus!!

While many summer swim teams inspire their swimmers to challenge themselves in the pool, few also challenge themselves to make a difference in the lives of others.  The Penguins of Little Falls are one of those rare teams!

On July 9th of this year, this amazing summer swim team from Bethesda, Maryland, will once again dedicate an entire practice to raising awareness and research funds for the life-threatening condition known as hydrocephalus.  Team Hydro could not be more honored to welcome the Penguins of Little Falls, as fellow Swimmers for a Cure!

The Little Falls Swim Team first learned about the difficult condition known as hydrocephalus when one of their former teammates, Kate Finlayson, passed away from the condition in 2010.   Kate had loved being a member of the Little Falls Team for many years, and swam with vigor despite having shunts implanted in her brain to treat her hydrocephalus.  During her short life, Kate would undergo hundreds of surgeries in an attempt to keep the shunts working properly–only to die from complications of her treatment at the age of 26.  Since that time, the team has worked tirelessly to honor their fallen teammate and raise awareness and research funds for this life-threatening condition affecting over 1 million Americans!

This year’s event will mark the 4th time the Penguins have launched an effort to raise awareness and funds for Hydrocephalus.  Led by parent coordinator Joey Lampl, and an amazing coaching staff, the team of swimmers ranging in age from 6-18 has set a goal of raising $7,000 in this year’s effort!  The Team will not only swim to raise funds, but will also participate in a range of other support and awareness activities including selling “Hydrate for Hydrocephalus ” water bottles at swim meets, making cards for children in hospitals for brain surgery, attending informational events where the swimmers learn more about the condition they are seeking to eradicate.  Team Hydro celebrates and applauds each of these amazing efforts!!

Please join us in welcoming the Penguins to the ranks of Team Hydro once again!
Let’s support them as they seek to help others who are striving to live with hydrocephalus!
Let’s support them as they seek to ensure that research for this debilitating condition continues!
Let’s support them as they Swim for a Cure!

Go Team Hydro!  Go Little Falls! You are Amazing One and All!!!

To donate to the Little Falls Swim Effort, follow this link:

Team Hydro Sets Sights on Exciting 2015 Season!

It is with great excitement that Team Hydro sets its sights once more on another year of open water swims, each — as always — with the aim of raising funding and awareness for the condition of Hydrocephalus.

This years swims are set for:

Alcatraz Sharkfest:  Saturday, August 8th, 2015

Boston Sharkfest: Saturday, September 19th, 2015


Note that there are still spaces remaining for the Boston Sharkfest Swim!  Register here!!!

And, of course, please feel free to donate to the cause!

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???????????????????????????????