Swimmer Spotlight: Susan Stowell

Once again we call attention to the health benefits of swimming. Many of the benefits are relatively small and cumulative, but in the case of our swimmer in the spotlight, they can be dramatic and almost miraculous. In 2005, Susan Stowell had a heart attack. Although it was mild with no damage, she began a treatment program of medication and rehab. For the next few years, Susan never got clearance from her cardiologist to do rigorous activities. However, at one of her rehab sessions, Susan met Yoshie Kyhos, who encouraged her to come back to DAM (Susan had been a DAM member in the 70’s during the Dave Scott era). Although Susan was a little apprehensive, she started going to workouts with Yoshie. At first she was worried about getting her heart rate too high, but gradually pushed harder and harder, getting stronger and stronger...

Thirteen years later, at an appointment with the same cardiologist, the doctor told Susan that because of her swimming (he found out about it at some point) her heart and lungs are so strong that she really doesn’t need to see him anymore! 

Susan is originally from Kansas, but moved to Davis with her family in 1967, where her father helped to establish the UC Davis School of Medicine and became the founding chair of the Department of Pathology. Susan graduated from Davis High School and for the following 20 years worked as a technician in various labs at UCD. Then, in 2000, she went back to school. In the next few years, Susan earned a BA, MA and Ph.D. in Native American Studies with a focus on Native American history and Native women.

Susan is not only a survivor, but she is also generous and creative. When Stu and Mary’s first grandchild was born (Lily), Susan knitted her a cap and booties. By the time Colton (second grandchild) was born, Susan had knit them both complete outfits! She has gone on to knit caps and booties for every DAM swimmer who is expecting a baby. She has also made many caps for friends at the 6am and 7am Civic workouts.

DAM is enriched by Susan’s experience and generosity. She is a great example of the rewards of dedication and perseverance.  Thank you Susan!

More and more Susan Stowell knitting is showing up around the pool.