Losing a loved one is never an easy to go though alone, so finding someone who has gone through the same experience helps a lot.
Kiley Zarzoza, a junior from Tahoma High School and Abbey Quintos, a senior from Kentwood High School, both share the recent loss of their dads. They both lost their fathers to lung cancer.
“I feel like it brings us a lot closer together,” Quintos said.
“Yeah, knowing it’s not just you out there, cause it does feel like that for a while,” Zarzoza said.
The girls have known each other for a while now, which makes it even easier to talk to each other about something like this. They also share something else in common, swimming.
To commemorate the girl’s dads, one of the girls on the Kentwood team came up with the idea to make T-shirts in honor of their dads.
The shirts say “Waves of a Change,” which according to Quintos was something everyone agreed on and said they thought it embodied what they wanted to do and what they had in mind.
The money from the shirts according to the girls will go to a charity or association of their choosing.
“I was either thinking of one kind relating to cancer that both of our fathers had, or even American Cancer Society, that would be fine,” Quintoes said.
The idea for the T-shirts was talked about and then came together in about a week or two. According to the girls it happened really fast and they said it means a lot their swim friends would do this for them.
“I know my (teammates) are like my best friends and knowing I have them with me by my side, that has really helped cause it’s so nice to have someone there, and for them to do this for us is probably one of the best things they could do,” Zarzoza said.
Both girls got involved with swimming because of their dads and families, another commonality between the two of them.
“I just love being in the water, and whenever I think about swimming I think about my dad cause he was always there,” Quintos said with tears in her eyes.” It’s something I always had in common with my dad.”
They said their favorite part about swimming is the people they get to spend time with on a daily basis.
“Everyone in swimming is so nice. It’s like my team and everyone, even like these competitions, they don’t feel like competitions they feel like just going and swimming with your friends,” Zarzoza said.
As far as the future goes, Quintos is hoping to go to the University of Washington to study either biology or chemistry and then to work toward following in the footsteps of her mom who was a nurse, she said.
Zarzoza said she wants to go to Oregon and study medicine to be a nurse practitioner.