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September 21, 2012 | North America: Virginia

Why Open Water Swim

By John Ferris

Luke in San Juan

When Luke was first diagnosed with autism, a doctor told us that we could not predict his future. Instead, she advised us to constantly challenge Luke to achieve bigger and bigger goals. Swimming nearly a mile of open water; dealing with currents, waves and other obstacles, with no lane lines for assistance -- most of the time, you can't even see the bottom- but you can see the fish! That’s a really big goal. Every child deserves a chance to achieve something extraordinary, to feel special. That was our goal for Luke. Thanks to Coach Nancy, his friends on Team Virginia and Special Olympics, Luke (like all the other swimmers) achieved something extraordinary in Puerto Rico. They are all winners.

About John Ferris: Not just a parent, I was also Luke's unified partner

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