My Family, Friends and Co-workers; The people who have made it possible
for me to go to Worlds!
These are just a few of the individuals that are inspiration and support that have made it possible
for me to compete in Worlds. There are many more people that I didn't mention, but know that it is the inspiration I
receive from friends, family and co-workers that has helped me re-direct my life after losing my sight, and to acheive the
goals I set for myself. Thank you!!!
Claire Gilbert (Mom) gets up at 4:00am six days a week, She meets me at the Marin
Rowing boathouse where my teammates take turns picking me up for practice. She waits in the car with Hedda while I am
on the water, and then takes me to work. She is always there to help me out. She accompanied us last year to Seville
for the first Worlds, and will be joining us in Philadelphia on the 18th to fly to Milan with us. She will be the official
"Hedda Holder" when I am on the water.
Larry Lobel: My very understanding husband, who calls himself the "rowing widower".
He has supported my efforts to get to the gym 3 days a week, and row with the Marin Master Women. . He will be
following us from home.
Etta Allen and Deanne: Etta adopted my retired of 8 years Guide Dog Deanne. Deanne
is an incredible female German Shepherd that was an outstanding guide. Etta and Deanne do pet therapy together at Marin
General Hospital, sit on many boards including Guide Dogs for the Blind. Both Etta and Deanne are a bright light in
Marin Womans Advanced Masters team: This is the greatest group of women 27-70
years old, who are the most dedicated hard working committed women I have ever met in the sport of rowing. They have
always included me on the team like any other member. They even have an on line carpool schedule, where they sign up
to pick me up and bring me to practice, Making a 30 mile round trip before we ever get on the water. I love them all,
and I wouldn't be in the competetive condition I am now without them.
Perry Heffelfinger: Perry and I have been doubles rowing partners in Sausalito,
rowing on San Francisco Bay in our Maas double for more than 5 years. We have competed together in the Open Ocean Rowing
Regatta, two Catalina Crossings, and one Catalina circumnavigation. I will miss rowing with her for the next couple
Holly Turner: Holly is an All American tri-athlete who participates and
wins Iron Man competitions. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Holly as my trainer the
past 2 years. Holly will be competing in an Iron Man the end of August. Go Holly, you are one of my heros!
Dame Rahl: Amazing work-out partner who inspires me to keep training. Dame's
voice is always smiling! Dame keeps the competative fires burning for me.
Janette Gilbert: Janette is my niece, and since she has moved to Petaluma, we
have worked out together at the gym, and it is so special to have her in my life. She works hard, just ran her first
1/2 marathon, and is a great inspiration.
Jordan Turner: Jordan, Holly's daughter, rower on the NBRC Jr's team has
been another work-out partner. She is very strong and has lots of drive!
Sarah Jones: Sarah Jones is a rower who was on the US National team for 12 years,
and participated in 2 Olympics. Our friendship started in Milan in 2003 where Hedda was the catalyst.
Our friendship grew from there. Sarah is a phenominal athlete, and shared her experience and friendship with
me. She overcame big obsticles with a back injury. She generously rowed with me in a double at the Head of
the Charles in 2004 just a few months after she competed in Athens. In The summer of 2005, she asked me to perform
the marriage ceremony for her nuptuals with Jeff Donaldson. This was a great honor for me. You are my hero
Sandy Armstrong and Jim Anderson : Managers of
Marin Rowing. From the first time I approached you about rowing at Marin Rowing you never said no, and have always supported
my equal participation. Thank you!
Rick Brown: Rick has been the coach for the Womens Masters team for the past
2 years. I have always been included, and held to the same standards as the rest of the team. Rick is amazing,
being able to manage 44 women from the age of 27-70. Mighly impressive.
Shirwin Smith: Founder of OWRC (Open Water Rowing Center), Shirwin overcame her
fear of having a blind person rowing her boats on SF bay to become one of my greatest supporters. Shirwin is a visionary
woman in the sport of rowing!
Elizabeth Swan: Dormitory Manager at Guide Dogs, great buddy and mother of Hedda's
best friend, GSD Nika.
Lori Brown: Lori is a Master Trainer at Guide Dogs. Hedda's instructor
who created the perfect partnership when she matched us together!
Russell Redenbaugh: Classmate from Guide Dogs in 1989 when I got Webster and he got
Royce. Russell was my inspiration for achievement and high goals. I will be staying with Russell and his Guide
Arlo for the 2 weeks of training camp in Philadelphia as I did last year before Seville.
John Riley: Adaptive coach in 2004, has been given me a lot of encouragement,
and pushed me past what I thought I could ever acheieve. Summer of 2005, John worked with me 2 times a day for a week
in a lightweight single Empacher on the Schuylkill River. I went from being a nervous, tentative rower in the single,
to strong and confident.
Ken Altenburger and Bristol: Ken and lab golden cross, Guide Bristol are co-workers
at Guide Dogs and great friends. Ken is always an inspiration. We share a love for friendly competition, and stay
away from each others sports.