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Midwest woman swims for diabetes awareness

Female swimmer holding a flag by the water that reads "The Great Diabetes Swim."
Greg Aldin
Midwest woman swims more than 35 miles for diabetes awareness

Midwest swimmer Marian Cardwell completed a record-breaking, two way crossing of Torch Lake on Thursday, August 5. The Calvin University graduate took on the feat as part of The Great Diabetes Swim initiative, attempting toraise funds and awareness for type one diabetes.

Cardwell swims on behalf of her late uncle’s chosen diabetes research foundation, the Chicago Diabetes Project.

“He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1955 and observing his perseverance and zest for life while living with the disease was continually inspiring,” said Cardwell.

Cardwell initially planned a 106-mile course, which she started around 7am on Wednesday, August 4. However, due to safety concerns from her support crew, she ended the swim early, still conquering more than 35 miles.

“It’s tough, knowing that I had trained for so much more, but with marathon swimming you’re often on a razor’s edge,” said Marian Cardwell, reflecting on the collective decision with her crew early this morning to cut the effort short of the original 106-mile goal. “As I continue to learn from the amazing type 1 [diabetes] community over the last years, I know that no amount of planning or preparation means perfection. This disease is often unpredictable, and I will continue fighting on behalf of this community.”

She said her more than 18-hour swim was still enough to set a record, but the swimmer wants to finish her journey in the water. She is set to take to the lake again Thursday evening.

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