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Hamilton Psychiatrist and Professional Swimmer to Raise Fund

Press Release – Sashbear Foundation

Hamilton psychiatrist Marilyn Korzekwa, 58, is training to become the first Canadian to swim the Cook Strait, the body of water that separates the north and south islands of New Zealand. Only 84 swimmers have successfully crossed the Cook Strait in the …Hamilton Psychiatrist and Professional Swimmer to Raise Funds for BPD

Hamilton psychiatrist Marilyn Korzekwa, 58, is training to become the first Canadian to swim the Cook Strait, the body of water that separates the north and south islands of New Zealand. Only 84 swimmers have successfully crossed the Cook Strait in the past 53 years

Korzekwa is undertaking the challenge, scheduled for mid March, to raise $10,000 for the Sashbear Foundation a recognized Canadian charity founded in memory of elite swimmer Sasha Menu Courey who lost her battle to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and died by suicide at the age of 20. The Sashbear Foundation’s mission is to help lead a mental health reform movement by promoting awareness for the need of early prevention, recognition, timely intervention and access to affordable treatment of individuals with BPD and emotion dysregulation.

Korzekwa, who has dedicated her career to BPD treatment and research, believes that the disorder can be successfully treated and that more programs are desperately needed. The illness has a suicide rate of 10 per cent.

The Cook Strait challenge, scheduled for the March 16 to 20 low tide window, is considered to be one of the most difficult swims in the world with water temperatures dipping to 15 degrees Celsius and is expected to take 13 hours. In addition to frigid water, Korzekwa will face high winds and waves from the Tasman Sea and the South Pacific Ocean. Making the swim all the more treacherous are unpredictable tides and violent eddies. The first swimmer to complete a double crossing of Cook Strait, Philip Rush, will officiate.

Korzekwa has an impressive resume of accomplishments as a long distance swimmer. She was the first person to swim Lake Ontario in both directions — south to north in 1983, and north to south in 1984, and is the oldest woman to complete the 20 km swim around Key West, Florida.

In 2011, Korzekwa swam the English Channel (34 km) in extremely cold water and high winds for which the Channel Swimming Association awarded her the Van Audenaerde Endurance Cup for the year’s most difficult feat of endurance. Last year she became the first person to swim between three provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island — a distance of 34 km which took 16 hours and 41 minutes. She is the first Canadian to complete the Triple Crown of marathon swimming comprised of the English Channel, the San Pedro Strait from Catalina Island to mainland California and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

To sponsor Dr. Marilyn Korzekwa go to www.sashbear.org/en/about-us/join-the-wave. To follow her progress visit http://www.cookstrait2016.blogspot.ca/.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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