Psychiatrist dedicated to BPD and Canadian champion swimmer continues to make waves for Sashbear!

On August 21, 2017, Dr. Marilyn Korzekwa became the first Canadian to swim Lake Tahoe from south to north, a distance of 34 kilometers. Lake Tahoe is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with the California-Nevada border running through the middle. The major challenge was the altitude of the lake, at 6200 feet (1897m). The length of Lake Tahoe has been swum 43 times, which includes 39 crossings by Americans and one each from the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Serbia. It has never been swum by a Canadian until now!

Previously, Marilyn swam Lake Ontario the easy way in 1983 and the hard way in 1984. She swam the English Channel in 2011, the Catalina Strait in California (oldest Canadian) in 2013, and around Manhattan Island (oldest Canadian) in 2014, and thus became the first Canadian to complete the coveted Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. In 2015, she was the first to swim between three provinces: Nova Scotia to New Brunswick to P.E.I. In March 2016, she became the first Canadian (and oldest woman) to swim across the icy, treacherous Cook Strait between the South and North Islands of New Zealand. In August 2016, she swam across Cape Cod, becoming the 9th person and the first Canadian to swim across these shark infested swirling tidal waters.

Marilyn has dedicated her psychiatric career to the treatment and research of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), which has a suicide rate of 10%. She is excited to use this swim to raise money for Sashbear, an organization founded by Lynn Courey, whose daughter, Sasha, a swimmer who suffered from BPD, died by suicide in 2011. Sashbear funds education programs for therapists, families and in schools. Sashbear trained the family members who run the 17 Family Connections Dialectical Behavior Therapy groups running across Canada from Quebec to B.C.! More treatment programs and support for families are desperately needed in Canada. Please help reduce the stigma of BPD and reduce suicide by supporting Marilyn’s swim. Thank you.

Use the button below to Donate and show your support for Marilyn during this challenging event and help Sashbear initiatives in the process!  All proceeds go to The Sashbear Foundation and Income tax receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more.  The Sashbear Foundation is a registered charity under registration number 8233 90042 RR0001.

Donate Now Through!

For more information, links, and to follow her progress in her Lake Tahoe swim see and follow us on twitter @SashbearOrg and on Facebook.


  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better...
  • Let's remove stigma from mental illness and Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • We are all in this together, you are not alone...
  • Validation before problem solving...
  • Emotion Regulation Disorder is the new name for Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • Let's teach DBT skills in schools...
  • Let's intervene, let's intervene early...
  • Show me compassion and empathy first, don't just tell me how to change
  • Let go of judgments and believe in me so that I can believe in myself
  • Accept me so that I can better accept myself
  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better next time
  • Take care of yourself then you can attend to others
  • Be mindful - Observe, describe, participate effectively
  • Observe your own emotions rise and that of others, pause then engage effectively
  • Strive to be wise, not just rational or emotional
  • Change what you can, accept what you cannot
  • Validation is not agreement
  • Validate, Validate Validate
  • Be supportive, let go of judgements
  • We can't control having strong emotions but we can change how we respond to them
  • Hope is everything and is always there even when I cannot see it
  • BPD is more common than Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder combined 6%
  • The suicide rate of BPD victims is 400 times that of general population
  • BPD is the third leading killer of young women between the ages of 15-24
  • 1 of 5 seek help, 4 of 5 benefit from treatment
  • 4,000 young people die by suicide per year in Canada
  • I am not the disorder. I am a person
  • Stop the Stigma - by Speaking Up
  • Living with BPD is like not having an emotional skin
  • Genetic vulnerabilities and invalidating environment could lead to BPD
  • Breathe
  • Mindfulness is not what you think
  • Mindfulness is being present moment to moment
  • Mindfulness is just observing, paying attention to non-judgement
  • Patience, trust, non-striving and acceptance
  • Mindfulness does not come by takes practice
  • Let your breath be your anchor to observe thoughts as they arise
  • Observe thoughts as they come and go like waves on the ocean
  • Pay attention to what you are actually paying attention to
  • What we frequently think we become
  • Turning my auto-pilot off
  • Only that day dawns to which we are awake - Thoreau Walden
  • It is a radical act of love to just just down and be quiet for a time by YOURSELF
  • You are HERE!
  • Make each moment count!
  • I am a valuable part of all that EXISTS
  • I am Love. ALL is Love
  • The practice of mindfulness is not to follow your heart but to train your heart
  • It's OK, let it be
  • Smile at thoughts, they are empty. The only power thoughts have is the power you give them
  • The benefit will come to your life with consistent mindfulness practice everyday
  • Whatever you do to make it mindful!
  • Kindness is pure wisdom
  • Mindfulness is free or craving, want or hate
  • Be gentle to yourself as well as others
  • When you feel connected to someone that connection gives you purpose
  • Practice kindness whenever possible. It's always possible - Dalai Lama