This week, Grotto catches up with Candace Thome, who lost her youngest brother, Brayv, in a drowning accident. In her grieving process, she decided to spread awareness for preventing drowning — and that's how her organization, Swim Brayv, came to be.
Candace Thome: My name is Candace, and this is one of my Mermodels, Dominique. I started Swim Brayv foundation because my youngest sibling, Brayv, he passed away from drowning. Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death for children under 4.Candace: My grieving period throughout that time was reading statistics and education about drowning prevention, and so I thought, "Well, if it's such a big problem, why aren't we talking about it more?" And that's how the Outreach Program was born. As a Mermaid Model, we go out to different events and just create awareness about drowning. I usually talk to the kids, and it's a little bit more fun environment for them, and they're more open to discussing swim safety. Candace: Probably one of the coolest parts for me is just seeing how, after they have a little bit of knowledge, what the kids and the families go and do with that knowledge. Everyone understands the value of a life. This is one of the most preventable causes out there. It's just that people don't think they're going to happen to them. I just think that we need to realize that there are things we can do to prevent drownings. Why would we not do them? Candace: If you guys would like to learn more about our cause or especially about other great causes out there, please click below, subscribe to Grotto Network, you'll see some amazing things and hear about some amazing people, and let's just keep the positivity going, everybody. Thank you, and Swim Brayv out there!