Seth's Progress : 1208 of 1000 Laps Completed!
Help me to help others!
I have pledged to swim 1000 laps as a part of the OI Foundation's 50,000 Laps - One Unbreakable Spirit Challenge and I need your support!
My name is Seth Stubblefield, and I am reaching out to you all today as a fellow swimmer, teammate, and lover of all things water. I swam for the past 5 years at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 2015 and then taking an extra year to train for Rio. I ultimately finished a heartbreaking 3rd in the 100 butterfly at Trials, narrowly missing my dream of becoming an Olympian by a mere 4 one-hundredths of a second. However, as often happens in life, dreams change and priorities shift. I got married to the love of my life in October, and started working at a hospital in DC in August in preparation for medical school. Although I am still swimming, it is in a reduced capacity compared to years past. My primary role this year is in the medical world, particularly the world of orthopaedics, and, even more specifically, the world of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). My new dream and one of my main priorities now is to be an advocate and voice for kids with this disorder in the larger swimming community.
50,000 people in the United States are affected by osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a rare genetic disease that makes bones fragile and easily broken. A person living with OI may experience hundreds of painful fractures over a lifetime. Infants with OI are often born with multiple broken bones. In severe cases of OI, a cough can break an adult’s rib. Each person with OI is unique, with different fracture rates, a varied range of related health issues and his or her own path through life. Yet there is one thing every person living with OI has in common… an Unbreakable Spirit®!
I became acquainted with OI this year during my job as a research assistant in the department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center. My research primarily focuses on the natural history of OI and connects me with extraordinary families afflicted with this disorder. It’s a humbling thing to say that these kids, who present in clinic with multiple fractures, lung diseases, and many, many other ailments, often brighten our days when we should be brightening theirs. They have given me a different perspective on life, and it is my goal to give back to them however I can.
For people with OI, swimming is the most prescribed physical activity treatment option available, and often times is the only physical activity that they can do. As OI significantly affects the bones of these individuals, physical activity is of paramount importance, especially for kids with OI, in order to help build stronger bones into adulthood.
The OI Foundation is a non-profit that helps families with this disorder and sponsors research studies that, hopefully and eventually, will lead to a cure. Because research, especially research that involves multiple physicians and clinics, can be very expensive, organizations like the OIF rely heavily on fundraisers to survive. As fate has it, the primary fundraiser the OIF is putting on this year is called 50,000 lap challenge, which is essentially a swim-a-thon. May 6th through May 13th is OI Awareness Week, and during that week, NCAP is partnering with the OIF to help raise money.
Please help us to provide answers to families, fund research, and maintain a network of support groups for families dealing with the daily realities of OI by making a gift and even joining us for this fun event. Other supporters and participants of this event include my good friends Ryan Murphy (triple Rio Olympic gold medalist and world record holder), Will Licon (multiple time National Championship winner and American Record Holder), and Michael Andrew (youngest professional swimmer ever), as well as my old stomping grounds, the City of Plano Swimmers. The Cal and Georgia swim teams are in support of this event, and we are in talks with USA Swimming about making this an organization-wide project.
With your help, we can inch closer to achieving the goal of finding a cure. If you feel so called, I would ask you to please donate to the OI Foundation. Other ways you can help are with social media and community outreach and awareness, traditional “swim-a-thon-esque” fundraising, and encouraging others to join and participate in our cause. I have included a vignette of one of the girls with OI I have been working with throughout this year as well as promotional materials. A link to the NCAP donation web page is listed below, and 100% of the proceeds go to furthering research endeavors and ensuring that people with OI receive the care they desperately need.
Thank you so much for your help. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to become more involved in this endeavor, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See y’all at the pool!
You can improve lives! To support the important work of the OI Foundation, simply click on the Donate Now button on this page.
Please give as much as you can! Will you also spread the word and help us generate buzz for this event that will make a difference?
I truly appreciate your time, consideration and generosity!