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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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35th Annual Swim with Mike!


April 28, 2015
by Jonathan

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Hello everyone! Hope you’re all doing great! Over here at the division we are wrapping up OT month and it’s been an absolute blast so far! This blog post is actually dedicated to one of the events of OT month that my classmates and I had the privilege of participating in, the 35th annual Swim with Mike Swim-a-thon! As the Occupational Therapy and Science Council Philanthropy Chair, it was my second year coordinating a USC OT team to participate, and I have to give a shout out to my friend Ali Adams for helping me coordinate USC OT’s involvement over the last two years. For those of you that don’t know, Swim with Mike is an annual swim-a-thon that is held to raise money for the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. The fund was first started through the generosity of three time All-American Swimmer Mike Nyeholt. In January 1981, Mike was in a Motorcycle accident that resulted in paralysis from the chest down. As a gesture to show support for Mike, his family and friends started a swim-a-thon fundraiser to help Mike purchase a specially equipped van that he could utilize. On the day of the swim-a-thon, Mike surprised his supporters by joining them in the pool, straight from the hospital! More than $58,000 was raised that day, which far surpassed the donation needed for the van. As a result, Mike used the excess funds to start the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund at the University of Southern California. The aim of the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund is to raise money for student athletes who have sustained a life-altering injury. Through the generosity of the Swim with Mike supporters, the donations are utilized to help student athletes with disabilities pursue higher education.

35 years later, Swim with Mike has raised over 15 million dollars, has 61 current scholarship recipients, has granted 178 total scholarships, reaching students from over 85 different universities. Swim with Mike is a fun aquatic festival that brings people together to swim, dive, and most of all, have fun for a great cause. Last year, I had the privilege of participating in a 34 hour swim-a-thon with participation from 40 fellow OT students who made up our team! I covered the night shift from 2 am to 7 am with my good friend Anna Redfern, and best believe I got supah pruny. This year, Swim with Mike was different in that it conducted its first ever triathlon.  Inspired to answer the question “what is your 35,” participants donated 35 dollars to participate in a 35 minute bike, 35 minute swim, and 35 minute run to support the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship fund. We had 20 OT students represent our team this year, and we all had a really fun time supporting a great cause. If you’d like to support the Swim with Mike Scholarship fund please visit swimwithmike.org.

Here’s a picture of some of our team this year, but I am currently making a video that I will be posting shortly. Here’s a video of my awesome team and I enjoying our SWM experience. Enjoy!

Please stay tuned for my next blog, in which I’ll be writing about the AOTA conference. In the meantime, Leila has written a blog about the conference as well, check it out, it’s a good read! :coolsmile:

Until next time my friends,
— Jon