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

Sarah Cawood

Sarah Cawood

In June of 2017, Sarah Cawood snorkeled down in the Florida Keys in honor of her aunt who is currently living with MS. Sarah’s open water swim challenge is the perfect example of thinking outside the box to support the MS community!

“I chose to swim because my aunt developed MS in her twenties. She was always so active growing up and had a huge passion for hiking and the outdoors. I wanted to do something for her and spread awareness to others.”

Adrianne Cornish

Adrienne Cornish

During the summer of 2017, Adrianne Cornish and her daughter Katy swam in honor of Adrianne’s mother who passed away due to complications from MS. Adrianne was a swimmer throughout her adolescence and began teaching swim classes at age 16. Adrianne’s mother was also a swim teacher and lifeguard, so Adrianne saw Swim for MS as an opportunity to honor her mother’s legacy while doing what she loved swimming! Together, Adrianne and Katy swam 150 meters in support of MSAA’s free programs and services.

“Finding Swim for MS felt like a perfect fit I have this connection to MS, and this program offered a way for me and my daughter to swim together while supporting a cause we’re passionate about.”

Amanda Fisher

Amanda Fisher

Amanda Fisher challenged herself to swim 300 laps in just 13 days in October 2017. Swim for MS was the perfect volunteer opportunity for Amanda, who is an avid swimmer and swim coach. Amanda was able to encourage her supporters to donate by posting about her challenge on her personal Twitter account!

“Having MSAA as my reason to swim has been truly inspirational, and even after my challenge is completed, I will continue to swim for those who have MS.”

Robin Hyett

Robin Hyett

Robin Hyett made a personal challenge at the start of the New Year to take control of her health and start exercising more! As a person recently diagnosed with MS, Robin hoped that starting a Swim for MS challenge would teach her how to make regular exercise a habit, while also giving back to a good cause. Robin began her swim challenge the same day she started her first DMT treatment for MS, and is continuing to work toward her goals.

“I’ve recently been diagnosed with MS and am fortunate that they have found it now in the early stages of this disease. There are some things I can’t control but there are other things I CAN control. Being more active is one thing I can control!”

Team & Group Swims

The Champions


Lea Culhane and team #ChampionsTakeTheLake took part in a family Swim for MS challenge during their week-long vacation at Crescent Lake in Maine. Swim challenges completed by the family ranged from cannon ball contests to open water swim relays, all in honor of a family member who has been living with MS for over a decade.

“By the end of the week, we not only had a fantastic vacation and got to spend time together, but we enjoyed the added benefit of knowing that we spent time together while also helping to support MSAA.”

Occupational Hazards

Occupational Hazards

The Occupational Hazards and team captain Jennifer Varnell swam for the MS community while studying at Loma Linda University in California. As occupational therapy students, Jennifer and her teammates learned about MS in class, and were inspired to give back to members of the MS community by creating a swim challenge!

“We all felt a passion to help this population after learning about multiple sclerosis in our program. Our challenge was to swim 15 hours within six days in order to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis!”

Phi Swimma Kappa

Phi Swimma Kappa

Team Phi Swimma Kappa represented the Phi Sigma Kappa chapter of Georgia Tech Institute of Technology during their fall 2017 semester. The fraternity brothers decided to put their swim skills to good use and raise awareness for MS in their community each brother set their own personal swim goal and tailored their swims to their individual schedules and abilities.

“Participating in this event definitely brought our chapter closer together as we raised awareness in our community about MS.”


Team DragonFLY

Meet Team DragonFLY and their captain Courtney Evers! Team DragonFLY participated in their fourth Swim for MS challenge this past summer, and their goal was to swim 4,825 laps the exact distance in miles between Courtney in Hawaii and her mother, Elaine, who has MS, in New York. Each individual on Team DragonFLY swam an average of 30 laps, helping to complete their goal!

“This is such a great challenge, because you can make it whatever you want. You can get your friends involved and keep them motivated. If you care, they will too! We started with just three swimmers for my first event in 2011 and now we have 26 active swimmers on our team roster from all over the country, including some in the Navy and Coast Guard.”