Beating Dementia Swim Recap: Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation Alcatraz Swim

“The swimmers felt very supported and super happy with the swim.” -- Rev Katie 

Escape from Alcatraz Swim for Charity

In July, Odyssey Open Water Swimming was a small part of an important fundraiser to beat dementia. Reverend Katie Norris and family reached out to Odyssey to organize the swim as part of the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation’s efforts to raise $25,000. 

Escape from Alcatraz Swim Carolyn Farrell Foundation

Reverend Katie’s father, Dr. Charlie Farrell, at 82 made the swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco with his son and family in a boat nearby. Odyssey Open Water Swimming organized the event and had safety support on hand. “Taylor (kayaker and swim support) was great, as was Montgomery who drove the boat,” says Reverend Katie. The event was covered by WKYC. Read the full recap article and watch the story here. WKYC’s Lindsay Buckingham gives background on the project:

“In addition to offering ministry to people who have dementia, Rev. Norris is also a health and fitness coach, and was caring for her mother that led her to be a coach. Rev. Norris says, “The first intervention we used when caring for my mom who had Lewy Body Dementia (dementia with Parkinson's) was an Endless Pool.” Her mom and friends, who named themselves “The Mermaids,” exercised each day at their pool to get exercise.”

Close to Shore Alcatraz Swim

The event was inspired by the thought that people with dementia live in a prison and are trapped. “If we know how to care for people with dementia, and accessible exercise and community are a huge part of that, then people can live well with dementia,” said Reverend Katie to WKYC. 

Thank you to Reverend Katie, Dr. Farrell, and the Farrell Foundation for allowing Odyssey Open Water Swimming to be a part of this memorable event! Learn more about the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation and donate here

View videos from the event here on the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation Facebook page.