Saturday, February 9, 2013

Under the Shimmering Light by Shewli Ghosh

A book about an ordinary girl doing an extraordinary thing  Authored by Shewli Ghosh 

ISBN-10: 1478345616
ISBN-13: 978-1478345619

A 10 year old girls extraordinary swim from Alcatraz in the chilly waters of the San Francisco bay, her training, her mental resolve, her mission to help others...My Escape from Alcatraz
When you are on the verge of catching hypothermia, what keeps you warm? When the cold water rushes into your wetsuit and your skin feels like its peeling of your face and leaving behind bone do you count on your wet suit? Your heart beating warm blood through your veins? For me it is the Ghirardelli sign shining through the San Francisco fog. The thought of the hot chocolate flowing down my throat and warming me up reminds me of why I’m swimming. To prove that I support breast cancer patients and that I will try my hardest to raise awareness and money to find a cure.

BUY MY BOOK! at or CreateSpace and leave your comments on my book. 

Below are Local and National Media support for my epic swim. 
National Television

2009: Mike Landees on ABC 7 News The

2010: with Doug Schepman, Christine Chang, Bertha Lynn on ABC 7 News The

 Local Radio
Local/International News Media (Click on the links)



Thank you visiting my site.   

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My latest swim adventure at Alcatraz

Hi! All,

I am ready for another adventure this weekend.  I am swimming in 17th Annual Alcatraz Invitational Swim with the South End Rowing Club (SERC) on Saturday Sep 8.

Wish me luck.

More later...

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Last year I swam for a little over an hour in the cold stormy waters for the distance of 1.25 miles from Alcatraz Island back to the South End Rowing Clubhouse in San Francisco. I did this to challenge myself and to spread the word of “Early detection is the key to fight Breast Cancer, speak to your doctor about conducting regular preventative screening tests, and get a mammogram as per recommendations”. It was a great experience as I trained hard, met the coolest of people and received tons of support for my cause.

This year I have decided to return to Alcatraz and swim for a cause to make a tangible difference in the lives of cancer patients. I am on a quest to raise funds to help cancer patients by providing therapeutic aid to cancer patients.

This concept came from my grandmother a cancer survivor. She shared with me and my mother, her experiences about chemotherapy. She said that during chemo, it felt like molten lava was searing through your veins and you wanted to grasp and hold something in your hands to help cope with the pain. This is a pain like no other.
Determined to help others in similar conditions, my mother, Shohini Ghosh (, an accomplished sculptor, designed palm sized sculptures shaped as a boy and a girl angel figurine and called them “My Angels”. “My Angels" are sculptures that patients can decorate to provide themselves with support and hope as they cope with a chronic or terminal illness. Family and friends can add their signatures and/or messages of support. The angel truly becomes a support mechanism for the patient, silently sharing moments of joy, sadness, victory and defeat.

“My Angels" sculptures will be made of soft stress-relieving foam. The boy or girl angel can be held and squeezed easily in
the palm of a patient’s hand that allows them to share their pain and keep their faith while managing their illness.
"My Angels" have been donated to hospitals around the United States and have been gifted to terminally ill patients. These donations have been very well received and there is need for a lot more. The American Cancer Society, Inc., Surveillance and Health Policy Research department estimates that about 1,529,560 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2010 and if possible I would like to reach out to each of them.

I am on a quest to raise funds in collaboration with my mother and
DonnaBellas Angels to provide these therapeutic “My Angels” to cancer patients as a symbol of hope, faith and silent support.

DonnaBellas Angels is 501(c)(3) not for profit organization and which provides inspirational healing art to those coping with a chronic or terminal illness. All donations are tax free and will be designated for “My Angel”
Read more about “My Angels” at DonnaBellas Angels and support my efforts by making a contribution for my cause.  By donating you're helping a patient directly.

Love to hear from you. So please leave me your favourite inspirational quote in support of someone you know who has cancer.

About my Swim: The South End Rowing Club's 15th Annual Alcatraz Invitational Swim on Saturday 8:30 AM, September 18, 2010. This is a 1.25 mile open water swim from a point abeam Alcatraz Island back to the South End Rowing Clubhouse at the foot of the Hyde St. Pier in San Francisco. Event address: 500 Jefferson Street San Francisco, CA 94109. Aquatic Park, corner of Hyde and Jefferson.

See You There. 


In the News
ABC 7News:
KYGO Radio:

Supporting Orgnizations

Shewli’s efforts are supported by invVEST, a global Renewable Energy non-profit company based in Boulder. invVEST’s mission is “To enable massive scale Sustainable Energy that will generate the next vibrant economy while protecting our planet for future generations to enjoy. Together, we can”. This is accomplished via a ThinkTank of experts on Solar, Wind, Bio, Hydro etc alternative energy sources as well as by means of Energy Education & Awareness initiatives.
Please check them out on

At Whole Foods Market Highlands Ranch, we are active participants in our community. We are extremely proud of our community involvement and the relationships that we continue to make each month! We strive to make a difference, and were touched by Shewli’s courage and dedication! Our Whole Foods Market, Highlands Ranch – CO store sends a big cheer with Shewli as she returns to Alcatraz!

7News has been a constant supporter of Shewli's effort to contribute and make a difference to cancer patients and spread the word on Breast Cancer Prevention.

Thank you from Shewli to Doug Schepman, Christine Chang, Bertha Lynn, Mike Landees and the 7News crew

Every week on the KYGO Kelly & Rider Mornings Show we recognize people in our community that are doing amazing things.

Amazing doesn't even begin to describe Shewli!  ... Rider

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shewli's Escape from Alcatraz - 1 hour 9 min 32 sec

Highlights of my event for the SERC Invitational Alcatraz Swim on Sept 12 2009
Distance: 1.25 miles
Start: 7:56 AM
Swim Finish: 1 hour 9 min 32 sec
Water Temp (Fahrenheit): High 50's Low 60's
High Swells, Windy, Rain, Lightning and Thunder
I loved every minute of this experience. Here are some video clips of the event and my thoughts.
Morning of the Swim
12th of September dawned with cold winds, overcast skies, thunder and lightning. I could see drizzle on the car windshield and occasional flashes of lighting in the distance as we drove north in the wee hours of the morning to the San Francisco bay. The drive was through dark windy roads and freeways bathed in misty fog.

The Fisherman’s Warf in the early morning light looked so peaceful with all the regular businesses closed for the night and we had the streets for ourselves.

At SERC, we (my dad and me) stood in the line at the Checkin tents to get our race packages and timing chips. My race number was 197 and later I changed it for 649. I changed into my wetsuit, got body marked and waited for the swim briefing. After this all swimmers walked towards Pier 33 to board the Blue & Gold ferry. This would transport us and let us jump a few yards from the island and start of the swim.

Jumping into the cold, rough waters of the bay
When I was boarding the ferry I felt nervous, uncertain of the swim that was I was about to undertake. I wanted to get a drink of water, because I always have a dry throat while swimming. Funny feeling thirsty being surrounded by water.

Here is a video clip of me and my dad jumping from the ferry into the bay. On this clip, we are first to jump, we pause for a few seconds and then start swimming.

Finishing the Swim
The weather was getting worse by the minute as we jumped into the water. In the water, all that went through my mind was to start swimming. Until I got to the middle. Here we paused to see the island having fallen behind us , the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge on either side. In front of us was the inviting San Francisco skyline shrouded in grey clouds and mist with an occassional flash of lightning. It was a beautiful sight.
As we paused, I could feel the cold water seep into my wetsuit and taking away the heat from my body. Then as I looked around and saw the huge swells coming right at me. I started swimming again. I could see the bright Ghirardelli sign. Odd, because I heard another swimmer before we jumped, saying that he was aiming straight for the Ghirardelli lights.

Towards the end I felt tired. I thought about my cause, my supporters and everyone who was waiting for me on shore giving me strength and courage to complete my swim. I started humming “Keep on Swimming, Keep on Swimming” and my favorite song. I aimed for a yellow buoy at the mouth of the breakwater. It seemed I was swimming in place and not getting any nearer. The swells and wind seemed to pick up in intensity and kept pushing back at me.
When I was near shore I could hear the crowd yelling and cheering for me. Then I realized that the excited sea gulls were cheering for me too. A swimmer at the breakwater took the time to encourage me as say “Come On, Good Job, You can do it, You are Shewli, the youngest swimmer today, aren’t you”

I kept swimming until I felt the warm sand on my face as a big wave carried me in as if to help me and introduce me to the crowds.
As I stepped out of the water I felt proud of myself knowing that I had escaped from Alcatraz in rough conditions with rain, lightning and thunder to add to my challenge.

I think my mom hugged me and then I was into the crowd where I was greeted with a big hug from Lynne Cox and SERC volunteers in red parkas and white hoodies.

I got my medal as my family cheered me on, my grandparents, uncle aunties and cousins. A flask of warm sweet milk was handed to me and it tasted good. Yum

In the steam room some one said that my lips were purple. The shower at SERC was very warm and I stayed there for a long time. Just soaking myself in the warmth, humming my favorite song.

I had swam the inescapable, legendary waters of Alcatraz. I stood up to the challenge and helped spread the word on "Prevention is Better than Cure" for breast cancer.

Thank You for following my blog and giving me strength.

Until our next challenge, Rock on.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Preparing for the Big Swim

My View From Alcatraz
I took a boat ride to the Alcatraz Island to explore it and visualize the swim distance. There is the San Francisco skyline in the distance. That water is cold, the island is windy and the water looks inviting.
Testing the Water in the Acquatic Park

This is the Aquatic Park, the shore to which I will be swimming from the Rock. It is protected from the ocean by a breakwater barrier. You can see Alcatraz behind me. The emerald green water temperature is in the high 50's and low 60's (Fahrenheit).
To follow all the swimmers on race day, check us out on Twitter SERC09. This will provide timeline of the progress of the swim, links and post event photo updates. Event instructions are at SERC
Give me strength by leaving a note for me so I know that my message of "Prevention is better than Cure" for Breast Cancer is spread to all viewing this blog.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shewli in the News, Practicing and About Alcatraz

The Swim Course at Alcatraz and About the Rock
Alcatraz Island is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California. Due to its isolation from the outside by the cold, strong, hazardous currents of the waters of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz (often referred to as The Rock) was used as a federal prison and housed high profile criminals and gangsters such as Al Capone.
In its 29 years of operation, there were 14 attempts to escape from Alcatraz prison involving 36 inmates. Officially, every escape attempt failed, although a select few were never found and presumed dead or disappeared without trace.
Shewli in the News
Thanks 7 News for interviewing me and airing my cause.

Practicing in Chatfield Lake
Getting ready for my 1.5 mile bay swim by swimming in cold Colorado lakes

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Escape from Alcatraz


My name is Shewli, I am 10 and a 5th grader from Colorado. This swim is dedicated to Breast Cancer survivors like my grandmother.

I would like to show my support for their courage and strength in overcoming this dreadful disease. As the race is on to find a cure, my aim is to spread the idea of education and prevention of Breast Cancer amongst family, friends, schools, and community groups.

Summary of my event

The South End Rowing Club's 14th Annual Alcatraz Invitational Swim on Saturday, September 12, 2009.

This is a mile-and-a-quarter journey that tests the heartiest athletes. I recently started competitive swimming and I am ready to swim the distance.

My interview with Breast Cancer survivors
I interviewed 2 breast cancer survivors who I know and their primary message is
“Early detection is the key to fight Breast Cancer, speak to your doctor about conducting regular preventative screening tests, and get a mammogram as per recommendations”.

Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me spread this important message.  Watch out for updates from me of pictures and my experiences of the swim.

Rock on and join me in going the distance.