Suburban Chicago woman swims across iconic Michigan lake twice

A medical student from Illinois has swum across one of Michigan’s largest inland lakes — twice — to raise money and awareness about diabetes.

Marian Cardwell accomplished the 35-mile feat at Torch Lake in Antrim County after dropping a plan to swim across Lake Michigan from Chicago to Grand Haven, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

Cardwell, 31, started on Aug. 4 and finished the next day. She had hoped to keep swimming but stopped after two crossings and 18 hours.

"I got colder a lot sooner than I was expecting," said Cardwell, who’s from suburban Chicago. "I have some of my own personal health issues that became more compromising than I thought they would be. And also the navigation became pretty challenging at night."


Cardwell is trying to promote the Chicago Diabetes Project, which seeks to make islet cell transplants a treatment option for Type 1 diabetes. She is a medical school student at Central Michigan University.

"I think it’s a kind of a hidden disease," Cardwell said. "These people have to manage it all the time. They never get a break. They never get a day off."