11 YO Swims 10 Miles to Help Others

Hi!  I’m Kiernan.  I’m eleven years old and I LOVE to swim.   Although I’m an accomplished sprinter, I’ve recently discovered a passion for long-distance swimming.   My swim team is hosting a ten mile fundraiser swim on June 9th.   When I first heard about it, I begged my mom to let me to swim the full ten miles. She met with my coach first (to make sure that I wouldn’t somehow get injured in the process) and when he gave her the OK, my mom approved. 

One thing my family has always stressed is service to others.  So my mom and I talked about how I could “make my 10 miles matter”.  Yes, my swim will help raise money for my swim team – but if I’m going to do something as bold as swimming 10 miles in a day, I might as well make my effort REALLY count – by raising money to help make the world a better place. 

My beloved grandfather, before he died at the age of 92, hosted an annual golf outing to raise money for NARSAD, an organization now called BBRF (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation) – a leader in mental illness research. 

And so, as a way to serve others as well as to carry on an important family legacy, I’ve decided to ask people to sponsor my 10 mile swim, so that – together -- we can raise money to help find a cure for the many mental illnesses which haunt so many people in the world. 

In addition to the issue of mental health, I also want to support The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.   Suicide has become an epidemic in our society. In the last two years alone, more than twenty people in the small community where my family lives have ended their lives through suicide.  It’s heartbreaking, yes, but not hopeless.  WE can make a difference:   by raising money for research, by talking honestly to one another and supporting each other through the difficult times which we all face, and – importantly – by realizing that we are all more alike than we are different. 

Thank you for reading my story.  And THANK YOU for supporting my fundraising efforts!!  After paying the $300 entry fee for my swim, we will split all of the money raised between the BBRF and the AFSP.    

I’m the only swimmer on my team who registered to swim the whole 10 miles… THANK YOU for helping me “Make these Miles Matter”!
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Elizabeth Puleo-Tague 
Grosse Pointe Park, MI
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 
Registered nonprofit
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