Princeton Tigers Rally Around Teammate to Cure Rare Disease


Princeton, NJ and Arlington, VA – Princeton waters run deep.  When one Tiger needs help, all Tigers respond.  This time it was in support of Sienna Otto, daughter of former Princeton swimmer Rory Otto.  Recently, the Princeton Tigers rallied to cure FOP at the Sienna’s Splash swim-a-thon.  Sienna was diagnosed with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) on May 30, 2012, just a month after her second birthday.

FOP is an extremely rare and debilitating medical condition where bone forms in muscles and other soft tissues of the body.  During a flare-up (characterized by large swellings), extra bone can form across the joints, restricting movement. Flare-ups can be brought on by trauma, so Sienna’s activities are restricted. Swimming is the only active sport recommended for FOP patients; fortunately, both of Sienna’s parents are lifelong swimmers.

Thanks to the efforts of the swimming family, the Sienna’s Splash swim-a-thon raised over $62,000, which was generated by over 254 donations from across the world, from Princeton to Korea. The event raised the level of donations to more than $112,000 for the year.

According to Princeton women’s head coach Susan Teeter, “Rory sent out an email after the event and said that the Princeton Swimming family does not end with graduation,” Teeter said. “I couldn’t agree more, or feel more pride about it. I was so pleased to see our present Tigers work to help one of our alumni raise money for such a worthy cause. I’m very proud that this Princeton family came together for such a great event.”

Many companies joined the effort to raise funds and spread awareness including SwimSpray, a chlorine removal company founded by former Princeton swimmers. “SwimSpray was happy to jump on board and help our swimming family,” said former Princeton swimmer and SwimSpray inventor Andrew Chadeayne, “this event really hit close to home because we were Rory’s teammates at Princeton.”

Sienna’s mother, Rory Otto says, “The team of brilliant researchers at the FOP lab are very close to finding effective treatments and ultimately a cure for FOP. This is not something that is just curable ‘someday’ or ‘in our lifetime.’ A cure is literally just a few years away, so every dollar helps.”

Donate to FOP here. 

About SwimSpray:

SwimSpray was invented by Dr. Andrew Chadeayne, a former Princeton University swimmer and chemistry Ph.D. from Cornell University. Tired of smelling like chlorine after his swimming workouts, Andrew set out remove chlorine from hair and skin ( SwimSpray works where so many other chlorine-removal products (e.g., swimmers’ shampoos) have failed previously because SwimSpray’s all-natural vitamin C based formula breaks this bond, neutralizing the chlorine, and allowing it to be washed away with your favorite soap or shampoo. Follow him on Twitter @swimspray and fan him Facebook.


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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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