In my 28 years of telling stories, there are two tales of guts and character that shook me to my very foundation, moved me like no others. And they tear at my heart still.
One is the story of our beloved Kathi Goertzen. The other is Marin Morrison.
When I met Marin, she was swimming the breast stroke at a junior varsity swim meet for Eastlake High School. She was swimming with one arm and one leg. Her other limbs were paralyzed. She finished dead last by a mile, but you should have seen the place go wild!
I learned that she had, just two years earlier, been one of the best swimmers for her age in all of America. She had dreamed --and planned -- to swim in the Beijing Olympics.
Aggressive brain cancer changed all that. But Marin kept swimming, kept living, and she set her sights on the Paralympcs, which were also in Beijing.
The fight to get to Beijing was an epic one, and the performance she turned in once she got there is, in my mind, one of the great sports stories of my generation.
I couldn't shake the spell that Marin had cast upon me, and so, along with KOMO-TV editor/producer Darrin Tegman, and photographer Doug Pigsley, we set about making a documentary about Marin's life and triumph. Four years later, I haven't shaken her spell yet, and I want her story to be heard.
These words can be heard during the movie. They sum up the way I feel about Marin and her struggle:
"At every pool where dreams and potential are measured by the hundredth of a second, the name should be whispered in wonder and awe: Marin Morrison, the girl who loved swimming so much, she put off death itself for one last race.
"This is the story of a dream that would not die, and a dreamer who will live forever."
It's called "Touch the Wall." It airs on KOMO-TV, Sunday at noon.
Watch the trailer: