Couple will try to swim across Lake Michigan
LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan couple hopes for good weather and water conditions when they set out on a 50-mile swim across Lake Michigan to raise awareness about postpartum depression.
Sara and Jeff Tow plan to set out Monday from Two Rivers, Wis., and swim to the Big Point Sable Lighthouse at Ludington State Park in West Michigan, according to a story (bit.ly/QR5Wrg) in the Grand Rapids Press.
The Grand Rapids area couple is looking for a “window” of 48 hours of decent conditions.
Both were members of swim teams at Ohio University and each said they suffered from postpartum depression following the births of their two children, now 11 and 9.
“Sometimes to get noticed you have to make a significant statement. This is ours,” said Jeff Tow, 40.
Postpartum depression is associated with a variety of emotions, including sadness, anger and guilt, according to the Postpartum Support International website. Parents also may show a lack of interest in the child, as well as changes in eating and sleeping habits.
Sara Tow, 39, established a website dedicated to people suffering from postpartum depression and their families. The couple wants more women and men to openly discuss the issue.
“We both realized that telling the story is only going to help others,” she said. “I really adore Jeff for having the strength to talk about it. Hopefully, we can help a lot of people.”
Their training has included swims of five, 10 and more than 20 miles. They also are preparing for large swells, currents, hypothermia and sleep deprivation.
Jim Dreyer expects to be on a tracking boat following them on their swim across Lake Michigan. Dreyer swam the 50-mile route in 1998.
“I do believe their chances are very good,” Dreyer said, adding: “Humankind at its best can’t beat Mother Nature at its worst.”
Online: www.throughtheblue.org .
Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids