Woman makes a splash for Down Syndrome awareness
BOSTON -- A local woman is making a splash to make a difference.
Karen Gaffney who has Down Syndrome is raising awareness with her amazing ability.
The 31-year-old swam Boston Harbor and with each stroke hoped to inspire people with a story similar to hers.
“It was really cold. The first half hour, 45 minutes it started getting rough,” Gaffney said.
Dodging lobster trap buoys and cutting through three foot swells, Gaffney challenged the elements and made some new fans.
“I'm so impressed with this young lady. she made me aware, well aware of how people with disabilities can accomplish a real lot of good things and she'd done it,” John Forgione, the boat coordinator
“She's a very strong swimmer and very determined, and had a never-say-die attitude,” Elaine Howley, Karen's Pace Swimmer
Originally, Gaffney planned to swim eight miles across the harbor from Boston Light to the L Street bath house in South Boston, but the wind and waves proved too rough.
Karen was relocated closer to shore and still showed true grit, swimming five miles today.
“A little stiff, but I’m alive,” Gaffney said.
This isn't Gaffney's first brave fete. She swam nine miles across Lake Tahoe, swam San Francisco Bay several times, and was on a relay team that crossed the English Channel. All the time proving her life's motto, which is:
“We're more alike, than we are different,” Gaffney said.
And in the water, she's an athlete always searching for a new challenge.
Karen swam Boston Harbor to celebrate Down Syndrome Month in Massachusetts.
She will also be an honored guest at the buddy walk this Sunday in Wakefield, which is hosted by the Down Syndrome Congress.
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