Swim coach diving back in after battle with Lyme disease

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Dylan Cudahy grew up on Wednesday night Jefferson Swim League meets, even watching his brothers long before he could race.

"I would just be at the meets pretending to swim and doing backstroke in the bleachers," Hollymead Swim Coach Cudahy said, "Watching them and getting really excited and I always knew that I wanted to swim."

That was Dylan's intro to swimming and the passion and his talent grew into an opportunity to swim at the collegiate level.

"Growing up I had always known UVA had a great swim team, it's a great school and I was born in Charlottesville, so I loved the area," Cudahy said.

But before heading into his first year at UVA and after numerous illnesses and injuries, Cudahy was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

"That started a downhill trend," Cudahy said, "Having to go through a long treatment of antibiotics to getting sicker and sicker and sicker, more injuries."

And soon after starting training for the Wahoos his first-year, Cudahy had to make the decision to step away, after time away from the pool lead to more complications, leaving behind one of his life's biggest passions.

"It made up a big chunk of my identity and that going from swimming everyday, training everyday and having it consume a lot of your thoughts to just trying not to do it anymore," Cudahy said, "It threw me for a loop."

After a couple months of struggling in school and with fitness, Cudahy was back in the pool. But without a team, until the opportunity to lead his childhood swim team at Hollymead opened up.

"It's been nice to get the reminder of what the sport can do for people and to be able to see kids going through stuff in races and swimming like I did when I was younger," Cudahy said.

A reminder of why he fell in love with the sport and where his fall has taken him.

"It's okay to have a bit of a struggle and I would even go as far to say that if you're not knocked down and if you don't have anything that sets you back at one point," Cudahy said, "You're never going to do as well as you could."

Cudahy also swims for the club team at the University of Virginia and is going into his fourth-year.

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