Teenage quadruple amputee
Takes on record-breaking swim across Lake Erie
Saturday, September 8, 2001
A teenage quadruple amputee became the youngest woman and first disabled person to swim across Lake Erie fulfilling a longtime dream to conquer the Great Lake.
"I feel great. I've never had so much support," a giddy Ashley Cowan said shortly after finishing her 20-kilometre trek. The 15-year-old completed the swim in just over 15 hours, fighting a tough current and a fear of swimming in darkness along the way.
Cowan said the first half of her swim went great. But as she closed out the second half, she really wanted to stop.
"I was screaming at my crew that I wanted to get out. But they wouldn't let me," she said, adding she would have been angry at herself and her crew if they'd let her quit.
An exhausted Cowan headed straight for waiting paramedics after emerging from the water on the shores of Crystal Beach, Ont. She was suffering from mild exhaustion and hypothermia.
"She toughed it out and we're very proud of her," said friend John Munro, who watched the swim from a rescue boat on the lake.
"Everyone's so thrilled about it."
The determined teen began her journey just before 9 a.m. at Sturgeon Point, N.Y., about 20 kilometres south of Buffalo, N.Y. She was accompanied by record-holding marathon swimmer Vicki Keith, who cheered her on from a kayak.
Munro, Keith's husband, said Cowan had fallen a bit off course during the day as she battled currents and swift water.
During the swim, hundreds of spectators cheered and encouraged Cowan, waiting anxiously for her to emerge from the water.
The Toronto teenager said she would not be satisfied until she crossed the lake to become the youngest woman - and the first disabled person - to complete the swim.
Cowan was two years old when she contracted meningitis and had to have each of her limbs amputated below the joint.
On land, she uses prosthetics, but when swimming Cowan powers herself without hands or feet.
Completing the long-distance swim has been a personal goal of Cowan's. But Munro said the former figure skater also wanted to raise money for Variety Village, an organization supporting children with special needs.
She hoped her determination would help her overcome a fear of swimming in darkness.
While in the water, Cowan fuelled herself with nutrition bars, sports drinks and other things that are easy to eat.
At the Canada Games in London, Ont. this August, Cowan won two silver medals for the 50-metre backstroke and 100m breaststroke. She also set a Canadian record with her 100m breaststroke time.
So the next time you think that you cannot do something; think about Ashley. No hands; no feet. But what amazing determination.
If you were to die today are you 100% sure you would go to
Please read the following if you answered No
to the question above.
Could you honestly say the following??
Jesus Christ, "I am just as good as you. I have never lusted in my heart; I have never lied; Never cheated; Never stolen anything; Never hated anyone; Never thought a dirty thought. Never said anything wrong; Never lost my temper. I am just as good as you are Jesus. I have never sinned.
Now, if you are truly honest with yourself, you know that somewhere, somehow you have sinned. You know that you could not compare yourself to the Holy Son of God, Jesus Christ.
BECAUSE OF THE ABOVE, THE BIBLE SAYS THAT
YOU ARE SEPARATED FROM GOD.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" ".your iniquities have separated between you and your God..."
YOU HAVE BROKEN THE LAWS OF GOD
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." "For the wages of sin is death..."
YOU ARE CONDEMNED BY GOD AT THIS MOMENT.
"... he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" "The wicked shall be turned into hell..."
BUT JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU AND DIED FOR YOU.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN.
"Jesus saith., I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
NOW THAT YOU HAVE THE TRUTH THE DECISION IS YOURS!
WILL YOU REPENT?
"The Lord is... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out," Repentance is when a person admits his guilt to God, and sincerely desires in his heart to get right with God.
"...repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
WILL YOU TRUST JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOUR?
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Jesus Christ died, was buried and rose again from the dead. He paid for your sins on the cross. That is why He is called the Saviour. You cannot save yourself by good works; baptism, church attendance, sacraments, going to confession; giving money, praying to Mary and the saints, or trying to live a good life. In order to be saved, you must completely put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
CAN YOU AFFORD TO WAIT?
The most important decision that you will make in this life will be that of either trusting or rejecting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Don't take a chance! Call on God now! You might not be alive tomorrow!
In your own words pray and tell God that you are guilty as a sinner, and that you now believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour, and that you now want to completely trust Him, and ONLY HIM as your Lord and Saviour.
Please let us know if after reading this if you have made this important decision of accepting and trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. We would love to hear from you.
References used from a King James Bible -
(Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 John 3:4; Heb 9:27; Isaiah 59:2; John 3:18b; Hebrews 9:27; Psalm 9:17a; Romans 5:8; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6;1 Tim 2:5; II Peter 3:9; Acts 3:19a; 20:21; Romans 10:13)