Couple set to make swim across Lake Michigan but escort boats have backed out

August 10, 2012

Jeff and Sara Tow. Photo by Brad Reed, Todd and Brad Reed Photography

LUDINGTON — Sara and Jeff Tow will become the first married couple to swim across Lake Michigan, from Two Rivers, Wis. to Ludington while raising awareness of postpartum depression (PPD). The swim will be the first crossing of Lake Michigan by a U.S. female and the second and third lake crossing at Lake Michigan’s midpoint by any individual. This will take place after August 12, during the first clear 48 hour weather window. The estimated time to complete the journey is 36 hours.

On Sunday, August 5, the team of boats that had committed to escorting the Tows across the lake backed out after nearly a month of working together. By Monday night, the Tows were able to secure one power boat to act as guide across the lake. After a year of training for this event, the Tows are down to the final days to make the swim a reality. A second boat would provide a safety net in case there were issues with the primary boat.

Sara and Jeff suffered from postpartum depression with both of their children. PPD affects nearly one in seven moms and one in 10 dads in the U.S. Only recently has it been more recognized and families are starting to get the help they need. The two are extremely passionate about this cause and agreed the time was right to really push it to the forefront in our society.

The Tows hope to serve as inspiration for parents struggling with PPD.

“Having a new baby is like stepping into the unknown, and it can be overwhelming,” Sara Tow said. “New parents have periods of uncertainty, but along the way they need to stay mindful that they will see solid ground again. They can get through it, step out of these blues and find their legs again.”

This would be the first major public event highlighting this mental illness. The attention gained will help families feel more comfortable coming forward to get the help they need and will be something that industry practitioners can use as a vehicle to get the word out with their clients.

Jeff Tow is the son of Sheryl and Budde Reed of Ludington.

Through the Blue is a non-profit focused on raising awareness of postpartum depression through the ultra-marathon swim across the lake, speaking engagements, weekly blog and video posts, and connecting through social media outlets. Sara and Jeff’s goal is to engage, inspire, and connect individuals with the resources they need to be successful, happy parents.

For more information, visit or contact Sara and Jeff.

Through The Blue

Photography by Brad Reed, Todd and Brad Reed Photography,

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