Swimming tribute for Mum

June 16, 2021

Sometimes it takes losing a loved one to ignite a passion for a cause you never thought you’d have. Alex Aguilar never knew the impact of stroke, or that it was one of Australia’s biggest killers until his mum Cathy passed away due to a stroke. Young, lively and fit, Cathy was a picture of health at 46, when one night in 2017 unexpectedly she suffered a stroke and passed away.

Since then, Alex has dedicated himself to raising awareness of stroke, not only to raise funds for the Stroke Foundation but to honour his beautiful mum.  

Alex and his family

An avid swimmer, Alex has been swimming since he was 2 years old, and started competitive swimming at the age of 10. Throughout his swimming career, Cathy was always there attending swim meets, teaching him the discipline needed to compete and providing encouragement as his biggest fan. On the 8th of July 2021 Cathy would have turned 50. With his love of swimming and in memory of the support and motivation his mum provided, Alex decided to mark what would have been Cathy’s 50th birthday by swimming 50km. 

Alex swimming butterfly

Alex has been training hard for his upcoming swim. However, in May he had the unfortunate accident of breaking his arm, sidelining him from the pool for 6 weeks. Determined, Alex will still be undertaking the swim as planned. Maybe he won’t hit the full 50km, however, he is determined to swim and this set back only makes the challenge that more meaningful to him.  

Alex draws strength knowing that his mum is watching over him. He is inspired to keep going by the support he has received from his community, friends and family, and also others who have been affected by stroke.  

Alex’s message for anyone who wants to raise awareness and funds for such an important cause is “challenge yourself and never limit your abilities and the people you can help”.

From 8am until 7pm on the 11th of July, Alex will be swimming at the Swimerz Academy to celebrate Cathy’s birthday and honour his mum. He is inviting friends, family and anyone else who wants to come and to support or to donate to head to his fundraising page on or contact him if they wish to join him and swim themselves!  

We will be sharing Alex’s swim after the event in celebration of Cathy.  

Alex at the pool