Day 612: Everyday hero to infinity

Canada's Star of Courage medal.

On my way home today, I heard a CBC radio interview with Casey Peirce, the young woman who will receive Canada’s Star of Courage for 2010.

In 2008, she put her own life at risk to swim out to save a couple who’d been flipped out of their canoe in a storm.

She said it took her 15 minutes to swim to them and then about 45 to struggle back to shore.

I’d like to say she’s today’s “Everyday Hero” but her act of selfless courage goes way beyond that, doesn’t it?

Here’s her story from the Calgary Sun:

Courage medal for Calgary hero
by Jenna McMurray

Casey Peirce doesn’t consider herself a heroine, but Canada’s Governor General does.

Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean announced Tuesday Peirce is one of two Canadians who will receive a 2010 Star of Courage.

On July 26, 2008, Peirce, then 30, was bike riding with her parents and sister along Spray Lakes Rd. in Kananaskis Country when her mother heard desperate calls for help.

The family rushed to the water and saw a couple whose canoe had flipped in swells created by a storm and were bobbing helplessly, hanging onto the craft, in the ice cold reservoir.

Peirce, a triathlete, made the one-kilometre swim to the couple — believed to be in their 50s — and towed them to shore.

“We were aware of the risks, but there was no one else in the area; they would have been stranded overnight if we hadn’t spotted them,” said Peirce, who works as the communications manager for the Canadian Sport Centre in Calgary.

The couple had already been in the 4C water for more than 90 minutes when she tied the boat rope to her arm. The 45-minute swim back was gruelling and her father threw her a rope and dragged her the last 30 ft.

“There really is no way to describe what that temperature of water does to your body,” she said. “It’s hard to breathe, I couldn’t feel my hands and feet but the adrenaline is what allowed me to get them through.”

Her courage has already earned her six awards, including the Carnegie Medal and a Silver Medal for Bravery and now she’ll have a seventh to add to her collection.

“It’s hard to picture yourself as a hero, I think it’s just the right people there at the right time.

“I think my family was there for a reason.”

Miracle Treat Day
Believe it or not, I’ve never had a Dairy Queen Blizzard. But I will be having my very first one on Thursday, August 12, 2010. That’s because Aug. 12 is Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queens across Canada.

According to their website, “Buy a Blizzard treat on this day and you will be helping sick and injured children in your area. All proceeds from every Blizzard treat sold at participating DQ locations on Miracle Treat Day will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.”

hmm, ice cream and helping kids in need? Yes, I think I can do that. (Oh, and if you’re in the U.S., Miracle Treat Day is tomorrow, Aug. 5th!)

P.S. Great acoustic version of “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. Enjoy!

P.P.S. Star of Courage Medal picture from HERE. Video from HERE.


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