Cook Strait Swim, New Zealand

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tragedy strikes again....

By now every swimmer in the world has heard about the tragic death of 26 year old, Olympic hopeful, Fran Crippen. This morning CNN reported that preliminary test revealed that Fran suffered a heart attack (October 25 CNN retracted their statement of "heart attack" and waiting for further test results ) while competing in the FINA 10-kilometer Marathon Swimming World Cup in the United Arab Emirates I was deeply saddened when I heard about his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. It brought back very painful memories of my brother Robbie, who broke several swim records, too. And died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 34. After he died, I learned that in the United States heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. And globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that by 2020 that the leading cause of death world wide will be heart disease. Their director, Dr. Robert Beaglehole said, "The old stereotype of cardiovascular disease affecting only stressed, overweight, middle aged men in developed countries no longer applied. Today men, women, and children are at risk." With Fran's untimely death, it brought those statistics to mind. In our swim community, we have raised awareness and money for several worthy causes such as cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and several other causes. Today, I think it would be wonderful if our swim community would help bring an awareness of heart disease. This morning before my swim practice, I drew a small red heart on my swim cap to symbolize that I am joining the fight against heart disease. And on February 14, I will be swimming at my local pool to raise money for our local Heart Foundation. I am asking swimmers world wide to organize a swim in your hometown.....wear a red heart on your swim cap, and donate money to your local Heart Foundation. Please forward this posting to all swim clubs. Together we can make a difference. Thank you

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