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An Autumn Swim to Fight Cancer
Team Suffolk's Swim Across America at Hills West raises $20,000 for cancer research
October 31, 2011
By: Rick Karas
Half Hollow Hills just had its first snow of the season, so what
better time to go for a swim? No better time like the present - provided
it's indoors, and for a good cause.
That's what Team Suffok was doing at the Hills West Natatorium on Sunday as part of Swim Across America, where local swimmers head to the ocean (or in this case, the pool) to raise money for cancer research.
Swim Across America was founded in 1989, and has raised $45 million
dollars toward the prevention and treatment of cancer. The Nassau and
Suffolk entries alone have raised close to $5 million over the last
decade. Swimmers solicit donations from family and friends, and take the
plunge, swimming for many minutes or several miles.
"At Swim Across America, we're enablers, we're trying to fight cancer
and support people like Team Suffolk," said Nassau/Suffolk chapter
chairman Gerry Oakes. "[We say] look what you can do to fight cancer in
Sunday's swim raised $20,000, which will go to the likes of Sloan Kettering and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as they continue to treat those affected by cancer, and search for a cure.
The event was largely due to the efforts of Hills East student Lauren
Attner. Lauren is a varsity swimmer, and her mother Diana was recently
diagnosed with breast cancer. She's doing fine, and she inspired Lauren
to 'pool' her teammates together to swim for a worthy cause.
"I wanted to do something to make a difference, so I contacted the
Swim Across America people and told my whole team about and basically
just set this whole thing up," Lauren said.
The Half Hollow Hills swim team
is gearing up for the League Championships this week, after a 6-1
season. Head coach Jason Wiedersum says he's proud of Lauren and the
team for taking some extra time, getting up early on a Sunday, and
diving into the fight against cancer.
"[Lauren's] really done a lot of growing up over the last year, it's a
very difficult situation to be in and I think she's handled herself
very well," Wiedersum said, adding that ten varsity swimmers took part
in the event.
Lauren is thrilled by the support of her teammates and the community
as this 'Swim Across America' helps aid in the fight against cancer
across the Island.
"It's very touching that because they all know my mom, they're all
here to swim for her or anyone they've lost," she said. "In this day and
age everyone is affected by cancer ... [we're] doing something to try
and fight it."
A hearty swim on a cold Sunday morning is a good start.