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Down Syndrome NSW
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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

VOTE FOR KAREN GAFFNEY - World Open Water Swimming Association Woman of the Year 2012 - deadline 31 December 2012

From Down Syndrome International:

Self-advocate and Down Syndrome International Ambassador Karen Gaffney, has been nominated, along with 14 other nominees, for the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) Woman of the Year 2012. This annual international award honours the woman who 

(1) best embodies the spirit of open water swimming 
(2) possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and
(3) has most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year.

Karen's nomination from WOWSA reads: 

"Karen Gaffney is a champion in every sense of the word: a humble heroine, a remarkable role model, a spectacular speaker. The English Channel relay swimmer has dedicated herself and the tools at her disposal to champion a journey to full inclusion in families, schools, communities and the workplace for people with Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities. With dramatic open water swims to emphasize one’s potential, as well as her speeches, video tapes and resource materials, she constantly installs hope for others with Down syndrome. Her lifestyle proves a full productive and inclusive life is in store for parents and families of a child born with Down syndrome or other learning disabilities. For her swims across Lake Champlain, Lake Tahoe, in Hawaii and in San Francisco Bay, for her ability to heighten awareness and raise expectations of students, counselors, educators and those in the medical profession of the capabilities of children with Down syndrome to learn, grow and contribute in an inclusive setting, Karen Gaffey is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.”

Karen Gaffney is not just an incredible athlete and role model, but she also dedicates her life to improving quality of life and rights for people with Down syndrome worldwide. Therefore, Down Syndrome International would like to appeal to the global community to support her nomination for this prestigious WOWSA award. You can vote for her by following these simple steps:

1. Go to the award's website
2. Scroll down to "2012 WOWSA Woman of the Year Nominees" (see 10. Karen Gaffney) (you only need to vote in one category)
3. Click on the tick button to the left of the WOWSA logo
4. Find "Karen Gaffney" on the next page, click on the round box next to her name, then scroll down and click on the "Vote" button.

With your help, Karen can receive international recognition for her life long efforts which is so deserved, and much will be done to raise the profile of people with Down syndrome worldwide! Please vote before the deadline on 31 December 2012 and pass this on to your friends, family and colleagues.

To learn more about Karen Gaffney and the work she does, check out the Karen Gaffney Foundation website.

Down Syndrome NSW members can borrow the video Crossing Tahoe: A Swimmer’s Dream, about Karen Gaffney's long distance swim across Lake Tahoe, from the Down Syndrome NSW library.

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