Monday, January 05, 2009

Paralympic swimmer Marin Morrison has died

There is a fabulous video about her here. RIP, Marin.

From KOMO-TV in Seattle (h/t to Media dis&dat):

Sammamish, Washington - Marin Morrison, a member of the 2008 USA Paralympic Swim Team who competed in Beijing, died Friday morning after a long fight against brain cancer. She was 18 years old.

Marin struggled to compete in three events in Beijing despite a near fatal stroke and a fourth brain surgery earlier in spring 2008. Marin's story was featured prominently on NBC's Paralympics special last fall, and KOMO News donated $5,000 from its Problem Solvers fund to help pay for her trip to China.

Marin was a nationally ranked age group swimmer and her high school's most valuable swimmer when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 14 in February 2005. After two surgeries, she recovered and continued to compete at a high level for her club team SwimAtlanta through the summer of 2005.

A third operation in August of 2005 left her with partial paralysis on her right side. After moving to the Seattle area for more treatment, Marin began swimming again as a disabled athlete, first for Eastlake High School in Sammamish, and then as a member of the U.S. National team. She holds two American records in the S-5 classification.

Marin earned a spot on the USA Paralympic team at the swimming trials in Minneapolis last Apri just as her health began to take a serious downturn. Surgeons performed a fourth brain surgery May 2 to stem intracranial bleeding.

Marin spent six weeks in Seattle Children's Hospital before returning home determined to accomplish her goal of swimming for Team USA in Beijing. Against steep odds, she was able to make the trip to China and completed all three of her events.

Church members, friends and neighbors staged a huge, emotional sendoff for her as she left for the international athletic competition, complete with a ride to the airport in a long, black limo."It is probably one of the greatest moments of our life, to be honest with you," her father, Matt, said at the time.

Her Olympic experience was topped off in October with a trip to the White House for a reception hosted by President and Mrs. Bush for the entire 2008 Summer Olympic and Paralympic teams.

Marin is survived by her parents Matt and Nancy Morrison; her sister Camlyn, 14; and brother Michael, 6, all of the family home in Sammamish. She also leaves behind her grandparents, and many aunts, uncles and cousins in California and across the country.

Marin inspired hundreds of thousands of followers all over the world through her story chronicled by her parents on her Caring Bridge web page at