Carly Lenett’s Fifth Annual Effort Backed By Olympians Gary Hall Jr., Kristy Kowal
Allentown, Pa. – Backed by two of swimming’s most recognizable names and celebrities from across the nation, 11-year-old Carly Lenett of Lower Macungie Township will swim more than three miles this September to raise a total of more than $100,000 for Type 1 Diabetes research.
Supported by multiple Olympic medal winners Gary Hall Jr. and Kristy Kowal, this is the fifth year Carly is doing the swim.
The event is scheduled for Sept. 10 at the Emmaus High School pool and B-104’s Mike Kelly of “Mike and Steph In The Morning” will be broadcasting live from the school throughout the event organized by Team Carly Rocks Foundation , a 501c3 non-profit. Olympic gold medalist Marty Nothstein, director of the Lehigh Valley Velodrome, will also appear at the event.
“I’m pretty sure I can do it because I have been working on my distance, and it really helps to have so many people cheering for me and encouraging me,” said Carly, who will enter sixth-grade in September. “I like to swim, I like to try to help other people and I know that I will be able to swim three miles because of the support I am getting from everyone.”
Carly was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008 when she was 3-years-old. She began her annual fund-raising swims in 2012 after learning about an upcoming diabetes walk. She asked her father, Mitch Lenett – who also has Type 1 diabetes – if she could “swim the walk.”
“A lightbulb went off,” Mitch Lenett said, remembering how his ambitious daughter jumped into a pool at the age of 4 and began swimming after her older brother. “I asked Carly if she would want to do a separate event to help raise money for diabetes research.”
Since her first swim in 2012 when she raised $9,000, Carly has raised more than $80,000 for diabetes research including $28,000 in 2015 and this year she is swimming for the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange represented by Hall. The T1D Exchange to fund specific research efforts and fulfill Carly’s dream of sending kids to diabetes camp where they can learn and have fun.
She will do the swim again this year in honor of fellow diabetes warrior and family friend Naomi Halperin, who died in December 2014 after a long battle with the disease.
“Carly Lenett and Team Carly Rocks are the embodiment of ideal grassroots patient advocacy. Carly is a role model to others in that she doesn’t allow a chronic condition like Type 1 Diabetes to stop her from living life to the fullest,” said Hall, who won five gold, three silver and two bronze medals during his Olympic career. “She is never shy to approach and engage a politician or celebrity or just someone on the street to talk about her management and highlight the urgency in supporting better, faster research. Carly has partnered with T1D Exchange to drive better, faster research that will get new drugs, devices and therapies to the patients that need them.
“We’re lucky to have such a passionate advocate representing us with T1D,” Hall added.
Kowal, of Reading, who won silver in the 200-meter breaststroke in the 2000 Olympics, has accompanied Carly in the swim for the past three years.
“During the entire swim, I can’t help but be in complete awe of Carly,” Kowal has said. “At her age I thought a 50 was long distance. A 100 was a marathon for me. The only time she ever stops is if I have to fix my goggles. If I look up to see how far we have gone, she looks over to check up on me. This girl is going to swim the English Channel one day!”
Carly has also been endorsed by two-time Superbowl winner Kendall Simmons of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who posted recently on his Facebook page “The first time I met Mitchell Lenett and his daughter, Carly, I could tell that she was special. The amount of confidence she displayed for someone her age was amazing. The way she has progressed every year should inspire everyone with diabetes.”
Carly has been featured in both the local media, including stories in The Morning Call and WFMZ-69, and on CNN, Fox-29, NBC-10, Sports Illustrated Kids, and in material produced by USA Swimming and Men’s Health magazine.
In addition to Type 1 Exchange and B-104, Team Carly Rocks is supported by the Helmsley Charitable Trust, PA Foot and Ankle Associates, Ai Orthodontics, D&J Sports, Emmaus Swimming and Diving, Subway and Reiss Cycle.
To learn more and find out how to support Carly in this year’s record-setting swim, please go to http://teamcarlyrocks.com/.
For More Information:
Team Carly Rocks Foundation
6900 Hamilton Blvd, Unit 285