My crew and I will be leaving in a couple of days to travel to New Zealand for my upcoming swim attempt of Cook Strait scheduled for the week of January 20th. This 17 nautical mile swim will start on the North Island and finish on the South Island. Cook Strait is known as one of the most difficult swims in the world due to its cold water, swift currents, and aggressive marine life. I will be swimming between two boats under the guidance of boat pilot Philip Rush. Again, my brother David an Orthopedic Nurse, and his wife Jeannie a cardiac nurse will accompany me as my experienced crew. I am very grateful to both of them for their unending support. My daughter Sarah, a dialysis nurse, will update my blog as soon as the swim starts.
In prior marathon swims, I have dedicated the event to someone who has inspired me. I am dedicating my swim in memory of 22 year old Matthew Rairdon of Westbrook who tragically died a few months ago from domestic violence. Matthew grew up in my hometown of Westbrook, graduated from Westbrook High School and St. Joseph's College with a Degree in Nursing. He worked in the Emergency Room at Mercy Hospital. Matthew was a young man who was greatly loved and admired. Along with his family and friends, the Westbrook community mourns the loss of this wonderful, caring young man.
The Westbrook community has started a fund raising drive called "Westbrook Strong..Matthew Rairdon Scholarship Fund". They are selling T-shirts to raise money for scholarships to a Nursing School Program. As a nurse, I have joined this effort.....my crew and I will wear the "Westbrook Strong" t-shirt the day of my swim in New Zealand. Moments prior to the start of my marathon swim, we will join hands and dedicate our day to Matthew.
I hope you will join us by making a donation to the Matthew Rairdon Scholarship Fund. You can make a donation at Evergreen Credit Union, c/o Pauline Campbell, P.O Box 1038, Portland, Maine 04104-1038. Thank you.