Sean Nuttall to Swim to Make a Difference, in Memory of Robert Nuttall

Sean Nuttall to Swim to Make a Difference, in Memory of Robert Nuttall

Sean Nuttall is tough, passionate, and committed.

The former Yale University water polo player will attempt an 100 km two-way crossing of Lake Ontario between the Freedom for Hungary Monument in Budapest Park in Toronto and Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie.

The Triple Crowner estimates his swim will require between 35 and 50 hours of continuous swimming.  He explains, “If I’m successful, it will be the longest unassisted open water swim in Canada or by a Canadian, and the 8th-longest unassisted swim on record globally according to the Marathon Swimmers Federation.

I’m raising money for the University of Toronto’s Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, a world leader in scientific research on debilitating brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, Lewy Body Dementia, and CJD. The Tanz Centre’s researchers are doing absolutely fantastic work transforming our understanding of these illnesses and are at the forefront of the global effort to prevent, diagnose, control, and cure them.

This cause is incredibly personal for me. 

My father, Robert Nuttall, a criminal defense lawyer in Toronto, passed away five years ago after an extremely brief struggle with an unidentified neurodegenerative disease. In November 2016, my Dad successfully completed a complex jury trial. By February 2017, just three months later, he was in emergency care in a psychiatric ward. By May, he had largely lost the ability to talk. By August he was gone. With few treatment options, all my family and I could do during this nightmarish time was watch, try to adjust to each heartbreaking new phase, and offer him and each other what little comfort we could.

This is why I’m swimming: To raise money for research that would help us better understand, prevent, and treat neurodegenerative diseases like the one that took my Dad. 

If you would like to support this effort, you can make a donation here.  Because I’m trying to swim so much longer than I’ve ever swum before, I’ve set a correspondingly high donation target: $50,000 CAD. No donation is too small; every little bit helps.

Having grown up in Toronto, I have a lot of respect for the University of Toronto, the Tanz Centre and what they do. I’m hoping this swim inspires others to dream big while also supporting a wonderful cause.

I hear [my dad’s] voice a lot when I’m struggling with long swims. I picture him talking to me and that helps me get through the tough moments. His voice will definitely be in my head during this swim, encouraging me to keep going.”

In memory of Robert Nuttall [shown with his son Sean below], read more and donate here.

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