his theme of support runs through the conversation of many Swim With Mike scholarship recipients.
Here are just a few:
• Marc Little lost his leg after being shot by a robber in the late ’80s while attending USC as an undergraduate. Little, who had run track in high school, used his scholarship to finish his undergraduate education and earn a J.D. in 1994. He is now in private practice in Los Angeles, specializing in civil litigation and entertainment law. “The symbolism of the swim for me is that it gave me hope,” he says. “It kept me positive. If you’re disabled and you’re not positive, then you’re behind the eight ball.”
• Marianne Grew, a volleyball player in high school whose spinal cord was severely injured in a bus accident, graduated from USC in 1989 and then entered medical school with the help of a Swim With Mike scholarship. She received her M.D. in 1993 and is now completing her residency in physical rehabilitation in Salt Lake City. Married in 1995, she is the mother of a one-year-old son.
• Arthur Hemingway, once a football player at USC (“I was recruited along with a guy by the name of Marcus Allen”), was struck by a driver fleeing police in 1978. His injuries were so severe that he was in a coma for six years, and doctors told his family that he would never speak again. Hemingway proved them wrong, and with the help of Swim With Mike he returned to USC after a 13-year absence to earn his undergraduate degree in 1996, majoring in political science. He’s now working on a master’s degree.
• Becki McCafferty Melli grew up the quintessential California blonde, a nationally ranked high school swimmer ready to compete in college, when a body surfing accident left her almost totally paralyzed. She graduated from UCLA, but then “didn’t know what to do.” A Swim With Mike scholarship enabled her to study journalism at USC. Since then, she has been Ms. Wheelchair California and has served on numerous boards which advocate for persons with disabilities. She works in sales and marketing at State Farm Insurance.
• Jason Rothbard, a swimmer, rower and water polo player, sustained severe brain injuries in a fall while a student at Colgate University. After five weeks in a coma, he recovered through intense physical therapy and sheer determination and, in 1991, won the “Tribute to Courage” award given to the California Rehabilitation Patient of the Year. As a Swim With Mike scholarship recipient, Rothbard graduated from USC in 1992. He and his wife are currently in the Peace Corps in Africa, but he plans to return to USC to pursue a master’s degree in social work.
• Jennifer Walsh was a high school athlete when she was diagnosed with cancer. She attended USC as a freshman in the fall of 1993, but soon after lost her battle to the disease. In 1994, Swim With Mike paid tribute to her spirit and determination by establishing an endowed scholarship in her name. Each year, contributors have the opportunity to donate to the Jennifer Walsh Swim endowment or the annual fund.

n a sense, the-one-of-a-kind Swim With Mike is a microcosm of the larger Trojan Family. “The volunteers of the swim particularly epitomize what the Trojan spirit is all about,” says 21-year-old David Lupash, who broke his neck in a swimming accident when he was 13 and is currently an undergraduate at USC. “They’re loyal, warm, eager to help. USC is a very close community. It’s such a big university but, at the same time, if you’re a Trojan, you’re a Trojan.”

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When and Where Is Swim With Mike?
This year’s swim is set for Saturday, April 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the USC Olympic Swim Stadium. However, swimmers may swim in any pool at any time.

How Can I Help?
Swimmers and sponsors anywhere in the country can participate in Swim With Mike by swimming or sponsoring swimmers at the event or in their own pools. Donors may also make an outright contribution to the Swim.

Who Is Eligible to Receive a Scholarship?
To qualify, scholarship recipients must have:
• Suffered an illness or injury resulting in a physical disability which substantially limits major life activity;
• Participated in organized high school or college athletics prior to the illness or injury;
• Meet the admissions requirements of USC;
• Maintain a 2.5 grade point average at USC.

Who Can I Contact for More Information?
• Ron Orr, (213) 740-4155
• Mara Hunter Redden, (805) 640-8590

Photos, clockwise from upper left: Olympic swimming champion Janet Evans gives a swimmer tips on technique; President Gerald Ford with Mike Nyeholt; Mike with Tommy Lasorda (left), former USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux and three USC Song Leaders; Mike’s mother Joanne Nyeholt with unidentified mouse; and scholarship recipients (from left) Crista Lawrence, Paul Heckler, Mike, Rob Mucho, Jeff Keith, Scott Madden and Ian Jaquiss.

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