I love writing about all types of strong women and their accomplishments. Honestly, I don’t know how I find some of these people. It’s like divine intervention just leads me to the correct place and wallah! I’ll start reading and something just connects and then you’re like whoa. There are women everywhere doing great things and no task is too small. Not to sound trite or a bit cliché but what we hold in high esteem in the United States sometimes, is less then impressive. We all like pop culture. I have found myself glued to The Kardashians© and Real Housewives of Atlanta© on more than one occasion and rarely have I said “hey how about that Grace Hopper, huh”? Yes, I added a link ~ that is your homework between Fourth of July beers. It’s a shame we don’t treat women like Grace Hopper as the real rock-stars. Can you see a show called The Real Female Scientists of Atlanta? No, I didn’t think so. Let’s face it, we are addicted to the wrong kind of badassery. Meet Dr. Karen Gaffney.
I love the photo above. She is perfection. Dr. Karen Gaffney has Down’s Syndrome. Dr. Gaffney is the first person with Down’s Syndrome to complete a relay swim across the English Channel in 2001.
Karen graduated from Portland Community College in 2001 and received her Associate of Science degree and teaching certificate. In 2013 she became the first living person with Down’s Syndrome to receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree, Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Portland for her work raising awareness for people who have Down’s Syndrome. She travels the world addressing people on Down’s Syndrome and how she believes is a life worth living. Unfortunately, the statistics of women aborting fetuses once diagnosed with Down’s is staggering. This is not a post to discuss abortion or pro-choice. What Dr. Gaffney is stating and showing the world is that all lives matter and having Down’s Syndrome isn’t a show stopper. One of my FAVORITE sayings, “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show“.
Some of Karen’s other swims include:
- Swimming across the nine mile span of Lake Tahoe ~ which became the documentary Crossing Tahoe: A Swimmer’s Dream (you can find on Amazon)
- 2009 swam the Boston Harbor to celebrate Down’s Syndrome month
- 2 Gold Medals from the Special Olympics
- 16 swims across the San Francisco Bay including the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. (Bucket List Item)!
When she isn’t swimming she is running the Karen Gaffney Foundation. Stop by and see what she is about.
“A life well lived, is long enough” ~ Seneca. Happy Fourth of July and Happy Miles to You!!
This is for you Dr. Gaffney ~ one of my faves from the Divine Ms. M. Down Syndrome don’t stop no show….