Daniela Abbott, 34, has lived in Rhode Island for many years with her husband Branden and their children Bianca and Myles. Although Daniela grew up swimming in Brazil, and she and her husband have many friends who’ve done The Swim, they’ve never quite found the right reason to dive in themselves. Until now.
A diagnosis of ALS last fall for Daniela’s mother, Marcia Hansen, enticed Marcia and Daniela’s father Jeffrey to move from Minnesota to Portsmouth, R.I. to be closer to Daniela and her family and their son John Victor (JV). This year’s 40th Save The Bay Swim is meant to give the family a distraction from the changes that lie ahead for them all, to create beautiful new memories together, and to give the Hansens the best possible introduction to Narragansett Bay and their new home.
No novices to the waters, Daniela, Branden, and JV all grew up participating in aquatic adventures. Born and raised in Brazil, Daniela and JV began sailing as children and continued sailing out of Newport and Bristol as they grew older. Branden also grew up sailing, in Buffalo, N.Y. Naturally, they “hope to pass our love of the water onto our kids, who are just getting started with sailing as well,” says Daniela.
After 15 years living hundreds of miles apart, ALS have brought them closer together (literally) and give them a great reason to create exciting new memories together. In their very first Save The Bay Swim, Daniela and brother JV will swim the 1.7 nautical miles, with her husband and father kayaking alongside them. They call themselves Team Bonito, for the fast, native South Atlantic fish from the mackerel family, which also happens to mean “beautiful” in Portuguese.
“Mom is very excited that we are all doing it together and is looking forward to welcoming us at the finish!” says Daniela. “This is a good cause, and I hope to document the events with pictures, video, and stories and to share with others our experience as first-timers.”