If you don't want to be on a donation website, just take three minutes to read the message below and enjoy the pictures. I thank you for donating 180 seconds of your life to Diveheart's life-changing work.
Here is a TEDx talk given by Diveheart's Founder and President, Jim Elliott. Please take 17 minutes to learn more about Diveheart's origin, mission, and work in the underwater world:
Pictures of Diveheart's other are trips here.
Most avid divers would use words like fascinating, astonishingly beautiful, and breathtaking to describe the underwater world. As a diver, I'll tell you that there are really no words to describe the feeling of being immersed in the beautiful oceans. Remember, the vast majority of our planet is underwater. So what happens when someone with a physical disability wants to dive? This is where Diveheart, and my fundraising efforts, enter into the equation.
To say Diveheart changes lives is an understatement. For those of you who do not know me, I have spastic, quadriplegic cerebral palsy. I use a motorized wheelchair for mobility. I need people to feed me, dress me, transfer me in and out of my wheelchair, and I'm physically unable to drive a vehicle. I'm lucky that my disability did not affect my ability to think or speak. The rest of my body doesn't work like a "typical" able-bodied person, though.
I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and I work full-time as a Licensed Professional Counselor. I really enjoy working with children, teenagers, adults, couples, and families who would like to make positive changes in their lives or learn to manage symptoms of depression, anger, anxiety, and other emotional or behavioral changes.
Outside of the office, diving is what I love most. Diveheart provides training and certification for people with disabilities. They adapt equipment and requirements so that people with disabilities have adapted training that fits their abilities. This means involvement of a lot of dedicated volunteers and instructors as well as some specialized equipment.
I'm sure that you can sense the enjoyment that I feel when diving. Diving certainly provides an amazing feeling that I cannot wait to experience again. The reason I am raising money, however, is related to something much more profound. Diveheart has discovered medical benefits related to scuba diving. For people with spinal cord injuries, who dive to depths of 66 feet or greater for two consecutive days, most of them have no pain when they reach the surface! Better yet, these effects last 2 to 3 weeks!
How does that work, you ask? Well, Diveheart invited medical doctors along for one of their dive trips and they have discovered that at a depth of 66 feet, there is an extra release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in pain relief.
Here is a video of how close I was to a reef shark:
Diveheart has also noticed some benefits for people with autism because of the increased pressure. Diveheart is only beginning to understand these groundbreaking effects.
Here, I'm following a turtle:
Here is a video of me holding a starfish (handed to me by Jardin, a very experienced diver who knows what it is okay to touch):
What Diveheart needs is a pool where they can research how diving affects those with physical disabilities and learn the details of what is happening so that scuba diving can become alternative medicine for those with disabilities. The pool needs to be 100 feet deep and must be heated. This way, the effects of diving can be studied in a controlled environment.
I don't often ask people for money. Please remember that you are not donating to me. You are donating to Diveheart. Diveheart is changing the world. Ask yourself if you want to be involved in that.
I get a lot of questions about how I get in the water. This video will show you:
If everyone I knew donated $20 and each of those people had 10 more people donate and talk to others about the life-changing effects of scuba diving for adaptive divers, Diveheart's incredible work would become known across the nation.
Just as important, please help spread the word. Even if you cannot donate, please tell 10 people about Diveheart. Whether you know people with disabilities, divers, or well-meaning people, if everyone tells 10 people about Diveheart, and those 10 people tell 10 more people, and so on, Diveheart will be a household name synonymous with scuba diving.
Please help change the world!
Thank you for reading, believing, and donating!
I appreciate your time and generosity!
With questions or comments, please contact Lauren at Ostrowski.Lauren@Gmail.com