Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Friday, October 02, 2009

Woman with DS swims Boston Harbor

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Gaffney a couple years ago. A very neat young lady, and an exceptional athlete too!

Competitive Swimmer Karen Gaffney to Complete 8-Mile Swim Next Week; Media Invited to 'Ride Along'

BOSTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress:

WHO: Karen Gaffney, an accomplished swimmer/athlete and the first person with Down syndrome to complete a relay swim across the English Channel, completed a 9-mile swim across Lake Tahoe, and multiple competitions across San Francisco Bay.

WHAT: In a unique and never-been-done-before fashion, Ms. Gaffney will challenge herself to an 8-mile swim across Boston Harbor to raise awareness of Down syndrome and undoubtedly prove that the genetic diagnosis does not equate to a lack of abilities -- rather -- a show of amazing ability. Gaffney will follow the route of the 'Boston Light Swim,' a local tradition in the region since 1907. In addition, she will be an honored guest at the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC) Buddy Walk and Family Picnic being held the Sunday following her swim.

WHERE: Boats chartered for the media will launch at 8:30 a.m. from the Boston Harbor Yacht Club (1805 Columbia Road, South Boston) towards Little Brewster Island where Gaffney will start her swim. Boats will follow Gaffney throughout her swim past George's Island and Rainsford Island, under the Long Island Bridge, around Thompson's Island and completing at the L Street Bathhouse (Curley Community Center; M Street entrance, 1663 Columbia Road) in South Boston approximately 4-5 hours after start. Those interested in cheering on the swimmer can gather on the beach of the L Street Bathhouse around 1:30 p.m.

WHEN: Thursday, October 8, 2009; Boats must depart on time (due to tide/currents) and seating must be immediately reserved. Gaffney will also participate in the 13th Annual MDSC Buddy Walk on Sunday, October 11.

WHY: Gaffney is undertaking this effort to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month (October) -- so decreed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick last year -- and to prove that those with Down syndrome can accomplish their dreams. Now 31 years of age, Gaffney has successfully mastered a string of 'firsts,' completing 16 swims across San Francisco Bay - including the popular "Escape from Alcatraz" relay triathlon. In September 2007, she successfully navigated a nine-mile swim across Lake Tahoe and became the focus of a DVD documentary, Crossing Tahoe: A Swimmer's Dream. Gaffney opted to swim Boston this year to also raise funds for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and its support programs leveraged by thousands of families across the Commonwealth.

**To support Team Gaffney, visit

CONTACT: Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, 800-664-MDSC

SOURCE Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress

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