[I am pleased to relinquish my column-space this month to my friend and FJC member Dr. Mike Fishbein, who has an important message to share about another friend and FJC member, Dr. David Garber]

The 9th Annual David Swim event is scheduled for August 10th. The swim is a fundraiser for ALS but also a way of honoring a dear friend [and FJC member], David Garber, who was diagnosed with ALS 10 years ago. Prior to ALS David had an active career as a dentist and was a passionate swimmer. In fact, one year he swam EVERY day. When the bay froze over, David cut a hole in the ice, took the plunge, and kept his record alive. On his 50th birthday he swam 5 miles from Falmouth to Martha’s Vineyard. David now breathes through a tracheotomy tube, is nourished through a feeding tube, and “speaks” through a computer which translates eye movements into words. The indomitable spirit which enabled David to crack holes in the frozen ice allows him to live a rich and creative life despite the formidable obstacles of ALS. His favorite tee shirt has a single word: “Marvelous”. His motto is “Still swinging for the fences!” and “Living large.” And that’s exactly what David does. As someone who visits David regularly, I am inspired by his uncanny ability to consistently find humor, purpose, and joy in nearly every corner of life. This spring he visited JazzFest in New Orleans with his team of caregivers, family, and friends. Think of it—a completely paralyzed guy on a ventilator flying on a commercial flight so that he can hear live jazz music in a city he loves. New Orleans is still recovering.

The swim is a half mile or mile open ocean swim. Last year 200 swimmers competed and just over $100,000 was raised for Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS). CCALS is an organization which is based in Falmouth. It has been instrumental in allowing David (and hundreds of other patients) to negotiate the complex world of ALS. CCALS provides David with a vehicle so that he can venture outside the neighborhood, information about services which improve functionality, emotional support, and the amazing computer which allows him to communicate through eye movements. Most importantly, they provide the security in knowing that help is only a phone call away.

CCALS receives no payments for its services from patients or insurance carriers. All of these services are enabled through charitable donations. It is your generosity which allows CCALS to provide for its patients so that people like David can live (large). We hope that you will once again consider CCALS worthy of your donation.

You can donate in 2 ways.

1. Send a check, made payable to CCALS, with a notation of “David’s Swim” to David’s Swim at 52 Horseshoe Lane, N. Falmouth, MA 02556
2. Visit the David Swim website: https://davidsoldsilverswim.com

On behalf of David, the David’s Swim Board, and CCALS, we thank you for your generosity.

UPDATE! - As of September 1, over $140,000 was raised in this year's swim!