Marilyn Korzekwa’s 2018 Swims raising funds for Sashbear!

Psychiatrist and world class long distance swimmer Marilyn Korzekwa is at again this year with plans to swim Santa Barbara Channel and Lake Superior. Marilyn has dedicated her career as a psychiatrist, to the treatment and research of Borderline Personality Disorder, which has a suicide rate of 10%. She is excited to use these swims to raise money for The Sashbear Foundation, a registered Canadian Charity founded by Lynn Courey, whose daughter, Sasha, a swimmer who suffered from BPD and died by suicide in 2011.Sashbear funds educational programs for therapists, families and in schools and works to reduce mental health stigma across Canada! More treatment programs and support for families are desperately needed in Canada.


Santa Barbara Channel Swim - July 18-20

On July 18-20, Marilyn is planning to swim the Santa Barbara Channel from Santa Cruz Island to Oxnard, California, a distance of 30 kms. This ocean swim is 100 km north of Los Angeles. This swim would complete the "California Triple Crown" (Catalina, Lake Tahoe and the SB Channel) which only 7 people so far have done and no Canadians! She would also be the first Canadian to swim from Santa Cruz Island, which is an ecological and marine preserve in the Santa Barbara Channel Islands National Park.


Lake Superior Swim - August 16-22

Then, on August 16-22 Marilyn is planning to swim 29 kms across Lake Superior from Whitefish Point, Michigan to Pancake Bay, Ontario. It has never been done before, although the warmer western end (32km, Wisconsin to Minnesota) of Lake Superior has been swum twice. This swim passes only 20km from the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. The water is very cold. The massive storms and waves are legendary.


The swimmer

Marilyn Korzekwa, has swum some of the most difficult bodies of water in the world, often becoming first Canadian or oldest woman.
Lake Ontario 1983, 45 km, south to north, 21:29
Lake Ontario 1984, 46 km, north to south, 21:00
English Channel, 2011, 41 km, 16:40
Catalina Strait 2013, 32.5 km, 14:24
Around Manhattan, 2014, 46 km, 10:02
Nova Scotia to New Brunswick to PEI, 2015, 35 km, 16:40
Cook Strait, New Zealand, 2016, 31.2km, 11:34
Across Cape Cod Bay, 2016, 30k, 13:06
Lake Tahoe, 2017, 34 km, 17:02

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 $20 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 swims 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