Picture yourself swimming the length of a pool. Arm-over-arm, each stroke pulling you smoothly through the water. Your strong legs are rhythmically beating the wake behind you into a splattering froth. You take a deep breath and…Stroke! 2,3,4…stroke! 2,3,4.
You’re as graceful as a dolphin but as fierce a barracuda. Each set of breaths, strokes and kicks propels you through the next ten meters. Faster, stronger, faster…faster…stroke! 2,3,4. “You’re living your dream. You’re going to win..Push! Push!,” is the mantra pulsing through every cell in your body. You’re exhausted but years of mental and physical training won’t let you quit. Stroke 2,3,4 fifteen meters to go. Your chest expands, Breathe! 2,3,4 ten meters, arms are burning, legs are kicking relentlessly. Five meters, three meters, one meter, reeeeach…FIRST PLACE!!
Two days later you get GBS and all your dreams sink to the bottom of the pool. Juan Castillo-Vazquez is a remarkable young man. His life, like yours, was sucked into a whirlpool of weakness, fatigue, paralysis, fear and despair. Juan is remarkable, like you, because that didn’t stop him. He, like you, chose to rise up from the depths.
This past August, he flew to Toronto with the Cuban National Team to compete at the 2015 ParaPan American Games and BROKE THE WORLD RECORD for the 100 meter butterfly! Need we say more?
Juan swam his race in his lane, alone, but he trained and received support as part of a team. GBS, CIDP and other variants such as MMN have brought us together and we are now family. So, no matter where you are in your recovery process keep swimming–and make some room because we’re jumping in with you!