Grinnell Student Swims to Make a Difference
In the early hours of August 31, 2008, David Paige ’09 carefully slid his thin legs into Grinnell's Obermiller Pool and began swimming, with teammates from the Pioneer swim team by his side almost every stroke of the way. Nearly 14 hours and 21 miles later, Paige emerged from the pool a champion.
Paige's extraordinary feat defied the medical prognosis that was presented to him as an 8-year-old. He was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a progressive muscle-wasting disease. Doctors told Paige that he wouldn't be able to walk on his own by the time he turned 20.
Through his own determination, Paige has proven them wrong. He loves being a member of Grinnell's Midwest Conference champion swim team, and he trained relentlessly over the summer to prepare for his marathon. After it was over, he had raised about $1,000 for CMT research.
Paige started swimming about the same time he started walking. He is determined to avoid being victimized by CMT. Currently there is no cure for the disease, but researchers hope to develop treatments in the next few years, and even a cure within ten years.
And David Paige will have helped make it happen. To read the Scarlet & Black's account of Paige's marathon, visit their archive and click on Issue 1, Fall 2008.