Teacher plunges in to help sick student
Teacher Josh Reid is jumping out of the classroom and into the lake this weekend to help raise money for a sick student at his school.
The Simcoe resident will set out from Pottahawk on Sunday. He aims to swim about 10 kilometres to Turkey Point and then swim another 15 kilometres along the Lake Erie shoreline en route to Port Dover.
He hopes to raise $8,000 for Kei ra Gayowsky, a student at Jean Vanier Elementary in Brantford where Reid is a teacher.
“She is a part of my school family,” said Reid.
The youngster has been in the hospital for the past nine months, first at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton and more recently at Sick Kids in Toronto.
Gayowsky has idiopathic colon inertia as well as a muscle disease and has battled with several infections and complications associated with her illness. Her mother has been with her at the hospital while her dad continues to work and care for their son.
The donations will help lighten the load for her family and pay for some of the equipment not covered by OHIP.
“Whatever we can raise will be helpful for them,” said Reid.
Reid was inspired to take his love of swimming and use it to help others after swimming alongside Annaleise Carr during her swims across Lake Erie this summer as a pacer.
“I got to be a part of the ‘ripple effect’ team and it got me thinking of what I could do that is personal to me,” said Reid. He was referring to Carr’s belief that a small action can make a big difference, just like a drop of water’s capability to make many ripples.
Doing something for a child in need made sense because of his dedication as a teacher and father.
Reid hopes to begin his swim as soon as the sun rises on Sunday and expects the swim to take him 10 to 12 hours, weather permitting. Carr will also be participating in Reid’s swim as his pacer and kayaker Rob Smith will help guide their way.
Reid is relatively new to open water swimming, starting out about three years ago. This summer he trained almost daily with Carr in preparation for her swim and recently won his first open water race at the Variety Village Open Water Swim at Lake Boshkung. He finished 3.8 km in just over an hour.
“This will definitely be my biggest challenge,” he said.
To donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/crp37c.Donations can also be made in person at the Royal Banks in Simcoe, Port Dover and Brantford. The transit number is 01312 and the account number is 509-906-4.
Copyright © 2014, Simcoe Reformer
Friday, September 12, 2014
Source: SARAH DOKTOR, SIMCOE REFORMER
Section: News Page: A1