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Palm Beach Gardens mom turns the drowning tragedy of her son into opportunity to save lives

Live Like Jake Foundation offers scholarships to teach children how to swim
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Posted at 12:31 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 19:29:54-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Qadir Mitchell, 2, officially finished his swimming lessons.

"I am so excited. It just gives me a peace of mind," his mother Deja said. "If we go to any beach, if we go to our friend's house, it's just so relaxing to know that he knows how to have fun in the pool."

Deja said a family get-together near a pool almost turned tragic when Qadir was three months old.

"As he rolled over in the pool, everyone was, like, in the pool to get him," Deja said.

Now Qadir knows how to swim through a scholarship from the Live Like Jake Foundation.

"We created it about six years ago after losing our son Jake to a drowning accident," said Keri Morrison, who founded the organization. "And we've really just made our life's mission to end the number one cause of accidental deaths in children ages one to four."

Keri is using her tragedy to help save lives.

"I feel that Live Like Jake is inspiring others in a couple of ways. One would be to more proactive around the water," Keri said. "And also I feel that it inspires other parents that have suffered the same loss to take their tragedy and turn that pain in something good with the awareness and scholarships."

Keri said there's a need for kids to know how to swim.

The foundation invested in renovating a building in Palm Beach Gardens and will be adding an indoor pool.

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the renovation process and impacted financial donations, but Keri is not giving up.

"We are hoping by mid-September that the pool will be up and running and lessons will be taking place," Keri said.

Deja is thankful for the Live Like Jake Foundation.

"Now my son he swims. He says, come mommy, come. And it's just so heartwarming," Deja said.

To learn more about the Live Like Jake Foundation, click here.