Swimming: A life-saving sport

by Donna J.
Our son, Andrew, was born with reactive airway syndrome, which resulted in him being hospitalized for pneumonia about a dozen times before he was 8. Each time, it became more severe. In an attempt to strengthen his lungs, we signed him up for summer swim team. He was terrible that first year, but his lungs grew stronger. He loved swimming and persevered, and he stopped developing pneumonia. Eventually he won an OHSAA Div. 1 State Championship, became a YMCA National backstroke Champion and was twice named Captain of The Ohio State University Men’s Swim Team. By the time he graduated from OSU with honors, he held 8 records and qualified for 2016 Olympic Trials in Iowa. In high school, Andrew also started a free Make A Splash swimming lesson program for at-risk, disadvantaged Minority kids, giving more than 1,200 kids 8 hours of lessons. For this, he received a National Safety Commendation from USA Swimming. The sport truly changed his life and quite possibly, saved it.
Silver Lake, OH