Haisell V.

Lakewood Family YMCA

When Haisell’s mother, Deborah, signed her up for the Otters Special Olympics team at the start of the swim season, Haisell could only swim short distances.

With a regional meet coming up, the coaches helped Haisell learn to swim in a life jacket so that she would be able to compete. Her mother signed her up for swim lessons and soon Haisell was able to participate with her teammates without needing a life jacket.

Two months after joining the Y, Haisell competed in three events at the Regional Special Olympics swim meet. Staff from the Y came to cheer her on when she swam her first race and came in third place. As the day progressed, Haisell gained on the competition. In her second race, she placed second.

“Deborah and I were both ecstatic and near tears when she finished her third race and received 1st place,” said Krista, Aquatics Director. “Her smile said it all!”