Update from January 10, 2021:  Our final fundraising tally was an amazing $10,663!  Team Lily (Byers) led the way with $1,975 thank large to her teammembers Emma, JJ, Elodie and Michael Bros who raised $1,525.  Great work Seton Swimming!

Congratulations to Seton Swimming for completing our 9th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Children’s Miracle Network Swim-a-thon.  As a team, we have raised just under $10,000 so far and had 60 swimmers participate.  53 of them were able to complete at least 200 lengths of the pool before they had to close the pool.

To put that distance in perspective, it is the equivalent of:

  • 5,000 yards
  • Nearly 3 miles
  • Ten (10) 500-yard freestyle events – in a row
  • About 2/3rds of the way across the Chesapeake Bay

We will keep the fundraising site up and running through January 15th so that each Fundraising Team has a chance to finish the job.  Here’s a link to our latest totals.

As of New Year’s Eve, Team Lily (Byers) holds a commanding lead in the fundraising competition with $1,825.  Team Lily was helped quite a bit by the prolific fundraising efforts of Emma, JJ, Elodie and Michael Brox who brought in $1,375 of that total.  And here is where the rest of the teams stand:

  • Coaches                                 $1,250.00
  • Team Teresa (Bingham)     $1,225.00
  • Team Jerry (Dalrymple)      $1,020.00
  • Team Mary (O’Malley)            $980.00
  • Team Isabelle (Luevano)       $825.00
  • Team Virginia (Hartung)        $771.00
  • Team Jack (Santschi)              $646.74
  • Team Céilí (Koehr)                  $395.00
  • Team Evan (Wilson)                $270.00

Individually, besides the Brox family at $1,375, here are the top fundraisers so far:

  • Coach Koehr                         $1,160.00
  • Haley Fifield                             $425.00
  • Amelie Halisky                        $425.00
  • Mary O’Malley                         $375.00
  • Teresa Bingham                      $365.00
  • Jack Santschi                            $345.00
  • Jed Albin                                   $330.00
  • Sophia Zadnik                          $310.00

Life Lessons

Today’s swim was truly a great accomplishment for many of these swimmers, particularly some of the younger 7th graders.  Aside from the great work we did on behalf of Cystic Fibrosis, I hope that many of us learned a valuable life lesson – We can always do more than we think we can do.  Or as alumni lap counter Meghan O’Malley reminded me, the Navy SEALS say that when you think you are completely maxed out, you’ve reached 40% of your potential.

This topic is so important to me that I chose to make it the subject of my Swimming Awards Banquet Speech last year.  I hope you all get a chance to read through it:  Swimming Awards 2020-Let’s Literally Astound Ourselves.

There were a number of swimmers who literally astounded themselves today.  There are so many swimmers I could mention here – swimmers like Colette Kramer (7), Olivia Sayani (10), Marianna Bingham, Peter Hartung (8), and Kyle Da Re (12) – but one swimmer who really impressed me with her heart was young 7th grader Christina Witter.

Even the Freedom Center staff were impressed with how Christina just would not quit.  They were so impressed, in fact, that the Manager (Aubrey – a wonderful woman) told me that she and the guards would stay late so she could finish.  Christina swam for nearly three (3) hours continuously and finished the entire 200 lengths.  If we just did what we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

The Big Reason We Swam Today

Let’s not forget the cause for which we all fought on a cold New Year’s Eve – the childhood disease, Cystic Fibrosis.

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections.  It can also obstruct the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond – the median life expectancy is now in the late 40s.

There are a number of families close to the Seton community affected by Cystic Fibrosis and all of the life limiting challenges it imposes including the Given’s, the Kohlhaas’ and the Manley’s.   The wonderful news is that scientists are closer than ever to a cure.  The scientists we are supporting at the CF Foundation and Johns Hopkins University are studying new medications right now that hold the promise for a normal life for those who struggle with Cystic Fibrosis.

In January of 2012, the year we first swam our Seton Swim-a-thon, the CF Foundation announced its new medication, Kalydeco, which essentially cures one mutation of the disease.  This medication works effectively in 4% of the CF population, but we can help the other 96% who hope and pray that the cure is found for them.

In the past five years, research funded by money like the money we raised this past weekend led to a new drug called Orkanbi which showed remarkable results with the Given kids.  Another drug in the pipeline is Vertex 809 which, if it works, will cure the most common mutation and impact the lives of the greatest number of people affected by Cystic Fibrosis.

Very recently, there has been an exciting new development with a new drug called Trikafta.  Trikafta attempts to treat the underlying problem at the cellular level.  They call it a “potentiator” that opens the channels in the cell walls to allow sodium chloride ions to pass through.  One common test for Cystic Fibrosis is called a “sweat test”.  Doctors can test the salt content of the sweat to determine if the body is properly absorbing all of the salt it needs.

Great Swim-a-thon Performers

Here were the swimmers who performed so well this morning:

  • Clara Condon (8)               1:12.33
  • Jack Santschi (12)               1:13.45
  • Emily Flynn (11)                  1:14.05
  • Anne Konstanty (Alum)   1:16.50
  • Jerry Dalrymple (12)           1:18.48
  • Mick Fioramonti (9)            1:19.45
  • Joe Wilson (10)                     1:21.05
  • Connor Koehr (8)                1:23.14
  • Lily Byers (11)                      1:23.41
  • Max Wilson (8)                    1:24.05
  • Teresa Bingham (11)         1:24.52
  • Liam Kellogg (12)                1:24.59
  • Jacqueline Oswald (10)      1:25.46
  • Evan Wilson (12)                  1:25.53
  • JJ Brox (10)                             1:28.17
  • Coach Jerry Zadnik (old)   1:29.04
  • Mary Pennefather (10)       1:32.54
  • Céilí Koehr (11)                     1:32.55
  • Mary O’Malley (11)               1:32.57
  • Lucy Pennefather (8)           1:33.15
  • Shannon O’Malley (8)          1:37.01
  • Haley Fifield (8)                     1:37.09
  • Patrick Hartung (10)            1:38.01
  • Michael Brox (8)                    1:38.05
  • Peter Konstanty (9)              1:38.31
  • Lucia Bingham (8)                 1:40.26
  • Madelyn Zadnik (9)               1:41.41
  • Josh Fioramonti (7)               1:44.54
  • Kateri Mantooth (10)            1:45.00
  • Mary Catherine Hurley (8)   1:46.54
  • Moira Haggerty (10)              1:47.00
  • Liam Halisky (8)                      1:48.34
  • Lucy Cunningham (8)            1:49.51
  • Amelie Halisky (10)                1:50.00
  • Mary Clare Waldron (11)      1:50.15
  • Elodie Brox (8)                        1:50.30
  • Virginia Hartung (12)             1:51.00
  • Greg Bauer (7)                         1:51.51
  • Rose Waldron (8)                    1:53.07
  • Sophia Halisky                         1:53.20
  • Seth Kellogg (8)                       1:53.30
  • Teresa Mosimann (12)           1:53.46
  • Amelia Geary (9)                      1:54.29
  • Molly Bauer (8)                         1:56.04
  • Orla Haggerty (8)                     1:57.30
  • Sophia Zadnik (11)                   1:58.00
  • Emma Brox (11)                        2:06.00
  • Olivia Sayani (10)                      2:14.00
  • Jed Albin (9)                               2:16.00
  • Marianna Bingham                 2:21.30
  • Peter Hartung (8)                     2:24.00
  • Kyle Da Re (12)                         2:24.13
  • Christina Witter (7)                2:46.00
  • Cate Waldron (9)                     180 lengths
  • Colette Kramer (7)                  156 lengths
  • Christian Ghering (8)              140 lengths
  • Daniel Hurley (7)                     130 lengths
  • Zach Moore (9)                        120 lengths
  • Anthony Morales (7)              118 lengths
  • Clare Witter (11)                      116 lengths

I’m very proud of what we accomplished today.  Not only did we do some small part to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, many of us learned a valuable life lesson: that we are capable of so much more than we think we are.

Great job Seton Swimming!

Coach Jim Koehr

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