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Still, she acknowledged there was no way to guarantee nature’s cooperation.
"The Gulf Stream ... it’s like a wild animal," McCardel said. "You cannot predict it that much in advance, so you cannot take historical data from Penny Palfrey or Diana Nyad’s swim and say, well, this is what happened to them, therefore if we don’t do exactly the same then we’ll have a better outcome."
It would seem an unlikely dream for a woman who didn’t even learn to swim until she was 10 years old.
McCardel, who makes a living doing first-aid training, and her husband took out a second mortgage on their home to finance the $150,000 in costs associated with the swim.
So far they have made about half of it back through sponsorships, and leaned heavily on volunteers and donations. She’s also hoping to raise money for cancer research and to support people who suffer from the disease.
At the marina Wednesday morning, McCardel was just about to hop into the water when suddenly she turned around and called out for her husband, Paul.
"I love you," she said, giving him a quick kiss. "Thank you. Bye!"
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