Our names are Ika Kovacikova and Annie Hamilton and we are swimming the English Channel in August 2013! We are currently juniors at College in Boston where we train together. We have both been swimming our whole lives and love spending time in the water and we would like to ask for your support of an important endeavor that will help to fund a worthwhile violence prevention program.
The English Channel is a 21-mile swim from Dover, England to the coast of France. The English Channel is also one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Swimmers must navigate through boats and tides, and they must be able to withstand the 60°F water temperature without wetsuits. Neither of us are seasoned open water swimmers, but after swimming competitively year-round since the age of six, the goal of swimming the English Channel does not only feel like an attainable one, it also feels like a natural one. With the help of coaches, friends, family, and our boat captain Mr. Fred Mardle, we are confident we can successfully make it across.
Furthermore, Annie and I are motivated by another goal: to help raise awareness and funds for hospital-based violence intervention programs across the country and more specifically for the Violence Intervention Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). During the summer of 2012, I worked and conducted research for this program at CHOP’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP).
The CHOP Violence Intervention Program (VIP) promotes a “trauma-informed” approach to helping patients who have been victims of nonfatal gunshot wounds, stabbings, or other physical assault injuries and admitted to CHOP’s emergency department or Trauma Unit. A trauma-informed approach considers how someone’s past experience affects his or her success in their clinical treatment. Since victims of interpersonal violence are 88 times more likely to retaliate or become reinjured after trauma, the overall program goal is to break the pattern of violence.
The VIP provides ongoing social and emotional support for youth who were seen at CHOP, and evaluates how this trauma-informed approach promotes positive relationships between patients, health care and social services, and connects them with beneficial community-focused programs in their neighborhoods.
I have really enjoyed my experience as part of the research team here at CIRP. Swimming the English Channel in August of 2013 would be my way of giving back to the center, and would support efforts to prevent violence. After raising enough money to cover the initial cost of our swim, Annie and I plan to direct our fundraising efforts towards violence intervention research at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP.
Also, please feel free to visit our blog: ecadventure.blogspot.com to read about our mishaps, experiences, and successes. As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact us at [email protected] and [email protected]
Thank you in advance for your support, kindness and generosity,
Ika and Annie