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

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

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

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