The Karen Gaffney Foundation
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Members Making Headlines

By Nancy Meyer, Racquet Club Newsletter, Spring 2002

The Racquet Club is proud to acknowledge a family member and remarkable young lady named Karen Gaffney. What an accomplished public speaker and dedicated athlete she is. Karen is filled with motivation, spirit and the absolute need to succeed with grace.

Karen successfully completed a relay swim across the English Channel last year and was recently awarded the Inspirational Athlete of the Year Award from the Multnomah Athletic Club. Did we mention that Karen has Down syndrome?

Karen was raised in a Portland family that nurtured her fight toward personal independence. She has attacked the challenges of everyday life in the same way she has accomplished her latest feat of completing a six person, 14 hour, relay swim across the English Channel! She graduated from St. Mary's Academy in 1997 and then graduated from Portland Community College with an Associates of Science degree and a Teacher's Aide Certificate, winter quarter of 2001.

Karen now has quite a busy schedule as she travels nationally speaking to audiences about overcoming the challenges of Down syndrome and the impact of early intervention and full inclusion in schools for young children with Down syndrome.

Karen completed the relay with lots of support from family and friends. The effort was lead by another well known family member of the Racquet Club Community, Kathryn Cronin Haslach, Bubby Cronin's daughter. Kathryn an experienced Channel Swimmer, organized the Relay Team as a fundraiser to support the Karen Gaffney Foundation. This is an organization that was started by Karen along with a professor from Portland State University and others in Portland. Karen's foundation is dedicated to aiding in the journey to full inclusion for people with disabilities. Many young families around the country have become dependant on Karen for her messages and inspiration to help them on the journey to full inclusion for their children.

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The Karen Gaffney Foundation
PMB 199
25 NW 23rd Place, STE 6
Portland, Oregon 97210-5120

Phone 503.973.5130