By Pete Verral
Fred Crisp, one of the organizers and a San Francisco resident said, “Today’s swim was truly the ‘Magnificent Twelve,’ with the oldest swimmer being 62 years old, and the youngest being 15 years old. Three of the 12 swimmers had only one swim before this, and all of the members had little or no experience on open water, especially cold waters such as the San Francisco Bay.”
The event concluded the ninth annual PATHSTAR Alcatraz Swim Program, a week-long event, which ran from October 9-17. PATHSTAR, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, inspires active lifestyle and healthy nutrition practices in communities throughout Indian Country.
One goal of PATHSTAR is to counteract the diabetes epidemic affecting American Indians and Alaska Natives at disproportionate rates. When compared with the population as a whole, American Indians are three times more likely to die from diabetes-related complications, according to federal Indian Health Service statistics. Obesity is a leading risk factor of diabetes, and Native youth are twice as likely to be overweight than are young people in the general population.