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Multiple Sclerosis Association Of America's Nationwide Search Uncovers Inspiring Stories Of People Living With MS Who Swim For Better Health

CHERRY HILL, N.J., March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA), through a collaborative partnership with Genzyme, a Sanofi company, is proud to announce the stories from three individuals in the MS community who describe how swimming has helped manage their MS symptoms and improve their overall well-being. Today, MSAA is unveiling their compelling stories captured on video at, along with new how-to resources about water-based exercise to help improve the lives of individuals living with MS.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: 

During December, MSAA and Genzyme held a nationwide search through an initiative called Why I Swim to uncover the three most inspiring stories in the MS community, from those who are at different stages in their MS journey:

  • Mary Sypawka , from Harleysville, PA is a water aerobics enthusiast who has been living with MS for more than 20 years. She led the charge at her local YMCA to host classes and make the pool more accessible for people living with MS.
  • Mandy Iris Vercoe , from Flagstaff, AZ cherishes her time in the pool, swimming laps as a time for self-reflection and meditation. Diagnosed with MS two years ago, she is passionate about being an advocate for the MS community.
  • Ginny Oman , from Asheville, NC is a self-described strong woman full of determination and hope, who built her swimming routine from five minutes to 40 minutes over time, which has helped with her secondary progressive MS (SPMS). She is now a nationally certified fitness instructor.

"Swimming for me means freedom. When I'm in the pool, I can move without the restraints of my walker, or gravity, or anything," said Ginny. "I started slow, but over time, swimming has brought me clarity, energy, and most of all joy. I'm so excited to be working with MSAA and Genzyme to share my story with the MS community. I hope that I can inspire people living with MS to go to the new online Aquatic Center and learn how to benefit from water-based exercise, like I have."

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