Giving Group

Maya's Swim for Music


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Maya is making a 52.4 km crossing attempt of Lake Ontario in July, 2016 in support of Music Heals. Her swim will take 20-25 hours in cold and choppy waters. Join her in supporting the funding of music therapy programs in Canada, and raising awareness of the healing powers of music.

The Group's Purpose

In late July, 2016, I will be making an attempt to swim across Lake Ontario, from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park in Toronto. The route is 52.4 km long, will take about 20-25 hours, and involves cold and choppy waters. No wetsuit allowed!

I have always loved being in the water and have been a competitive swimmer for four years. I took up endurance swimming last year and was inspired to take on this challenge by my grandfather, who cycled across Canada many times. If I am successful, I will be the youngest person ever to complete this route across Lake Ontario, which is considered one of the top five toughest endurance swims in the world. Only about 60 people have done it.

In addition to swimming, I enjoy playing classical guitar and piano. Music makes me very happy, and I can’t imagine my life without it. I believe music is beneficial for people’s emotional and physical health. After all, what’s not to love about music?

So in making my crossing attempt, I am trying to raise money for The Music Heals Foundation, a Canadian charity that supports music therapy programs and awareness across the country. Programs include those serving children, seniors, palliative care, burn units, dementia, the autism spectrum, bereavement, rehabilitation, and more. If you are unfamiliar with Music Heals, watch the video above and/or visit their website for more info on the amazing work they do.

If you would like to support Music Heals, please consider donating to this Giving Group. When I am out there in the lake and it's dark and cold, I will think of all the people I am helping which will inspire me to keep going and make it to the other side.

How to Help

1) Make a donation to my Giving Group. My swim will begin any time between July 23rd and August 5th, 2016, depending on weather conditions, but you don't have to wait for it to start! Your full donation will go to Music Heals, whether I am able to complete the crossing or not. You will receive an automatic tax receipt by email when you donate $5.00 or more online.

2) Also SHARE this with all your friends and family so we can spread the word.

About the Organizers

My name is Maya Farrell and I am 14 years old. I am a plant-based athlete living in Ottawa, Ontario. My two passions in life are swimming and music, and I am excited to be combining the two for a good cause!