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Swim the Strait


Business No: 106846819RR0001

Swim the Strait

Scott Rees, a client of Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind (CGDB) swam 30km across the Georgia Strait on July 23rd, 2023 to raise funds and awareness for CGDB. Please donate to Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind to support Scott and his great accomplishment of swimming across the Georgia Strait!

Please continue reading to learn more about Scott's story and his goal for leading up to the Swim the Strait event in July 2023.

My name is Scott Rees and I’m a client of Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind (CGDB). I’m 39 years old and have a recessive genetic eye condition, called Retinitis Pigmentosa, which has caused gradual deterioration and loss of my vision over the past fifteen years. Although I can still see some light I have lost all functional sight, which has necessitated a significant transition in my mindset, career, and personal pursuits.

I am supported by a strong family, friends, and Kaleb, my 75-pound yellow lab from CGDB. Kaleb is my first guide dog, and with the help of CGDB’s instructors we quickly developed as a team. Ever since partnering in July 2021, Kaleb and I have navigated the busy streets of Vancouver, commuting to work, going for lunch, and heading to the gym or pool to stay fit. Kaleb quickly became a support for me and has greatly improved my independent mobility, which is something I had lost previously. He is also an integral part of my family, bringing joy to me, my wife, Alexandra, our two young children, and everyone he meets.

While vision loss has closed the doors on some of my hobbies, I’ve been lucky to have swimming as an activity that I can continue to enjoy. In my childhood I competed regularly in short distance swim racing, and more recently I have tackled longer open water endurance swims like The Vancouver Bay Challenge, a 9.6-km swim race across English Bay. I now use a waterproof headset that allows me to receive directions from a support boat or kayak so I can keep my course without my vision.

On July 22nd, 2023, I plunged into the Pacific Ocean to make my longest swim attempt, a 30-km crossing of the Georgia Strait, from Davis Bay in Sechelt to Pipers Lagoon near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The swim is similar in distance to the famous English Channel crossing, or California’s Santa Catalina Island swim, but is less well known.

By swimming the Georgia Strait, I hope to raise awareness for CGDB and to give back in my own small way to a charity that has made a very positive impact in my life. CGDB helps blind Canadians improve their mobility and quality of life through the use of professionally trained guide dogs. The organization relies on the good will of charitable donors, and the efforts of volunteers across Canada. I’ve personally experienced the life changing benefits of having a CGDB guide dog, and I hope that you will join me on my journey by donating today and supporting CGDB.

Check out some of Scott's interviews below:

CBC News Interview - 

Global News Interview -

North Shore News Interview -

CBC Article -