PATHSTAR is about transformation.
“The PATHSTAR Alcatraz swim program shows us how a simple act of courage and commitment can move Native Americans from hopelessness to hope. A beautiful program and a magnificent new way to save lives.”
Lee Lipsenthal, MD, ABHM
On October 11, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, South Dakotan, Alaskan, and SERC swimmers journeyed across the silky water on Captain Polse’s Dixie for the eighth annual PATHSTAR Alcatraz swim. Cheered at the start by the crowd on Alcatraz Island for the sunrise ceremony and inspired by the San Francisco fireboat cascading water and brilliant rainbows in a background of cobalt blue sky as it heralded the way to Aquatic Park, all the PATHSTAR participants, their escort swimmers, rowboats, kayaks, paddle boards, and power boats completed a successful bay crossing and our eighth annual San Francisco PATHSTAR program.
Carmen Fourd, a 2010 Lakota PATHSTAR participant, wrote this:
“The experience was really one of a kind. It was very hard emotionally, physically and even mentally. There were times when I did not know if I could or would make it to the final swim. I believe I pushed myself hard…er than I ever have before. But I am extraordinarily happy to be able to say that I stuck it out and I finished the swim.”
The powerful enthusiasm, encouragement, and support from the members of the PATHSTAR supporters and volunteers, along with the determination of the PATHSTAR participants, guaranteed that the ‘impossible becomes possible’ — and once again we got to share and together be challenged, frustrated, and deeply inspired.
As Chrystal White Eyes, one of this year’s Lakota participants said
“Just working together and supporting each other was really great. It was a lot of work and we all had our bad days, but there was never any fear of failing. The (PATHSTAR) people are awesome. Every day they gave us strength, power and energy –everything!”
Tonja Smith, 2010 PATHSTAR Alcatraz swim participant said this: