Swim for MS Stories

MSAA invites everyone into the pool to Swim for MS! Swim for MS is perfect for all levels of swim enthusiasts, swim clubs and teams, youth groups, social clubs, and families. Getting started is easy – just set a swim challenge and fundraising goal and dive in!

To inspire your own swim challenge, please read these examples of recent Swim for MS fundraisers that highlight team events and individual challenges.

Individual & Personal Swim Challenges

Hannah Shlansky

Hannah Shlansky completed a 9-mile open water swim in September 2016 as a part of the annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse in Islamorada, FL. Hannah raised $1,590 for MSAA’s free programs and services!

“It was my first time doing something like this so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The conditions that day were really good and the water was really calm so I was optimistic about finishing the race. It took me a little over seven hours to complete it, and my dad was in the support kayak next to me cheering me on the whole way.”

Walter Reynolds

12-year-old Walker Reynolds organized his swim challenge during his summer break to raise awareness for MS, and the invisible symptoms that his mom, Shana, often experiences as a result of her MS. Walker swam one minute for every dollar donated up to $1,000, and then did a cannonball for each dollar over. Walker’s original goal was $1,600 -- but this technique helped him to raise over $1,900 for MSAA!

“I think Swim for MS is a cool way for kids to be world participants and actually begin to make a difference in the world and the lives of many people.”

Thomas Dimako

Thomas Dimako decided to take a school service learning project and turn it into an opportunity to learn more about MS! Thomas’ love of swimming helped him to raise $1,179 for the MS community. He even recorded a cool swim video of his challenge, too!


Ryan Saunders’ 14-mile swim was completed over a period of 12 weeks and raised over $1,000! Ryan’s swim was dedicated to both his mother and his aunt, who live with MS.

“I’m swimming to honor the strongest, most loving person I know, my mother, and my Aunt Amy, for which, MS took her mobility and her voice. I’m swimming in memory of all those who have lost their lives and to those still battling MS.”

Team & Group Swims

Leman Manhattan Preparatory School

In January 2017, Léman Manhattan Preparatory School incorporated Swim for MS into its school-wide community service initiative, raising over $3,000 during its five-day swim challenge. Students swam during their regularly scheduled physical education classes, meaning 30 minutes of continuous swimming for each student!

“We’re fortunate to have two pools on campus where students swim weekly as part of our curriculum, so supporting Swim for MS was a perfect fit!”

Courtney Evers

Team Captain Courtney Evers and Team DragonFLY set a goal to collectively swim 20 miles in five days to raise awareness and funds in support of individuals with MS, including Courtney’s mother, Elaine, who was diagnosed with MS in 2005. Together, the team raised more than $4,100! What makes Courtney different from other Swim participants is that she was recently awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for her volunteer efforts, including her years as the captain of her Swim for MS events!

“The Swim for MS part of my MOVSM was by far the most meaningful, because it was something that really ‘hit home’. Not only was my team helping raise awareness, but the funds were actually going to those that needed it with MS."

Natalie Domeisen

On January 21, 2017, Natalie Domeisen and Team Enfinity in Winston-Salem, NC swam as many laps as possible in one hour, raising $780 for the MS community!

“As a Division I swimmer, I can attest the emotional and physical reward of swimming is unparalleled. As a current medical student and former swimming rehabilitation volunteer, I have witnessed the tremendous healing of the body swimming can provide. This was my third Swim for MS and the money from this fundraiser brings my personal fundraising total to $3,803.25 since 2009. I hope to have many more!”

Kristy Neal and her team, Foo Foo’s Fighters, swam 25 miles in October 2016 in honor of Kristy’s best friend, Kimberly, who was diagnosed with MS the previous year. The team’s dedication to the cause resulted in a $760 donation to MSAA’s free programs and services!