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Children's Hospital Patients to Compete in USA Swimming Disability Championships

June 11, 2002

Seattle, Wash.: Children’s Hospital patients Justin Fleming, Jerry Mitchell, and Gretchen Rosenkranz are competing June 13th to 15th at the USA Swimming Disability Championships.

Seattle, Wash.: Children’s Hospital patients Justin Fleming, Jerry Mitchell, and Gretchen Rosenkranz are competing June 13th-15th at the USA Swimming Disability Championships. The meet will draw the best swimmers with disabilities in the U.S. and around the world, including Peru, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. The winners, out of 135 athletes from ages 11 to 45, including current Paralympic record holders, may compete at the World Championships in Argentina. Swimmers compete in 15 classes based on the following categories: functional ability; vision-impairment; hearing impairment; and mental disability.

Justin Fleming, age 14, will compete in the following events: 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 meter freestyle. He has congenital limb deficiencies and has been treated at Children’s rehabilitation and orthopedic clinics.

Jerry Mitchell, age 15, will compete in the following events: 100 and 200 meter freestyle and the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke. He has arthrogryposis and has been treated at Children’s rehabilitation and arthrogryposis clinics.

Gretchen Rosenkranz, age 21, will compete in the following events: 50 meter fly, 100 and 200 meter backstroke, 100 and 200 meter breaststroke and the 200 meter Individual Medley. Currently, she is the U.S. record holder in her class for the 200 breaststroke. She has spina bifida and has been treated at Children’s birth defects clinic.

“The Disability Championships are an opportunity for swimmers with disabilities to showcase not only their impressive athletic talents, but also their innate heart, desire and dedication,” said D. Kiko VanZandt, RN, co-meet director, USA Swimming Disability Championships and nurse clinician, Children’s Hospital. “Children’s is especially proud of Justin, Jerry and Gretchen for their commitment to swimming and ambition to represent the nation at the World Championships. We all learn about the strength of spirit through their triumphs.”

About Seattle Children's Hospital

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children’s has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.seattlechildrens.org.

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