A tremendous amount of rain has fallen upon Houston over the last few days, wiping out the homes and properties of thousands of people as Hurricane Harvey swept across southern Texas like no other deluge seen before on American shores.
While many thousands of families have lost everything, all their possessions soaked and inundated as an unprecedented flood overcame the area, the spirit of unselfishness, charity and mutual support remains strong in the Category 4 hurricane.
Kerry Yonushonis is one of those residents of the area.
The American open water swimmer and psychotherapist does not have one thing in common with her neighbors and fellow residents in the area. She has a solo attempt of the English Channel scheduled in 11 days.
And she asked for help via Facebook. “Not one house in our whole neighborhood made it. Thousands of us are now displaced.
While we have lost everything, it felt good to help rescue so many. Thank you to all the volunteers who brought their boats and jet skis to help us get families, elderly, paralyzed, and babies out.
In the midst of all our stress and losing everything the past 36 hours, I have made up my mind on the English Channel solo in September. My husband was really supportive in helping make this decision…so I leave in 11 days [and] will go ahead with my scheduled attempt of the English Channel.”
She is facing another daunting task. “I have no pool to train in for a few weeks. I have lost some vital longer swims. I actually don’t even have any gear for my EC swim…it is all lost in the flood.”
But Yonushonis is a fighter. “I will have to dig deep into that reserve of grit, to even attempt it at this point..like deeper than a Texas oil well, deep. I might fail. I might not make it…and that is OK. I will try, and take it one stroke at a time…feed to feed. Isn’t that what we ask our kids with dyslexia to do, take a risk and not be afraid to fail?
Isn’t this what open water swimming is about..the irony and joy of working with Mother Nature to attempt it, instead of this current situation is not at all lost on me.”
She made a request to the open water swimming community. “I need help gathering gear…I have none, it is all sunken in the bayou that is now my house.
If any of you know of swimmers who are able to donate the vital items to get across the Channel, I would be so very grateful. I am not even able to come up with a list right now of what I need, because it has been a catastrophic few days…but I know for sure Roctaine with caffeine powder and Maxim powder would be on the list. There is no way for me to run to other towns to find the items, as Houston is shut down.
I have no mailing address to order things, no stores to go to to pick them up. I only have 11 days. Any extra will be donated to future English Channel swimmers.”
Kerry Yonushonis can be reached via Facebook.
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