Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, released a statement about her daughter Maeve McKean and grandson Gideon. The McKeans went missing on Thursday in a canoe in the Chesapeake Bay near their Annapolis-area home.
On Friday officials announced that the search for the two had shifted from a rescue effort to a recovery. The mother and son were playing outside their home when a ball went into the water, according to a Facebook post by Maeve's husband David McKean. "They got into a canoe, intending simply to retrieve the ball, and somehow got pushed by wind or tide into the open bay," he wrote.
Maeve, 40, Townsend's oldest daughter, is a public health and human rights lawyer who served as executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative. Gideon, her oldest son, is 8.
"Maeve shone. The fire emanating from her soul warmed us all," said her mother. "My heart is crushed, yet we shall try to summon the grace of God and what strength we have to honor the hope, energy and passion that Maeve and Gideon set forth into the world."
Read the full statement from Kathleen Kennedy Townsend below:
"With profound sadness, I share the news that the search for my beloved daughter Maeve and grandson Gideon has turned from rescue to recovery.
Our Maeve devoted her life to helping societyâ€™s most vulnerable. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer who pursued a career in law to give voice to the voiceless. She was Executive Director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative and taught bioethics and human rights as an adjunct professor, where she gave hope to those who need it most. Maeve served on the board of the Brady Campaign and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, where she honored the standard that we are all defined by the plight of those society leaves behind.
She was a PTA president, a soccer star, and a marathon runner.
Maeve was vivid. You always knew when she was in a room. Her laughter was loud, unabashed, and infectious. She did everything with her full self and her whole heart. She gave the best hugs, sang loudly and out of tune, danced, wrestled, argued, forgave.
Maeve shone. The fire emanating from her soul warmed us all.
Her husband, David, and their children, Gideon, Gabriella, and Toby, were the great joys of her life. The role she treasured most was mom.
Gideon, like his mom, was a star athlete who loved soccer, golf, and running. He took after his parents in the most extraordinary ways. He loved riddles, math, chess, and adventures. He loved to invent new games with his mom and share them with us all. Gideon was a loving and protective big brother to Gabriella and Toby.
When my uncle Ted eulogized my father, he offered a prayer that what my father was to his family, and what he wished for others, would someday come to pass for all the world. This is our prayer for Maeve and Gideon.
My heart is crushed, yet we shall try to summon the grace of God and what strength we have to honor the hope, energy and passion that Maeve and Gideon set forth into the world.
My family thanks all for the outpouring of love and prayers as we grieve and try to bear this devastating loss."
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