Team mELLENoma - Swim to Live was formed in 2010 for the first SAA Baltimore, to honor Ellen Dierkes, who was waging a war against stage 3 melanoma that eventually spread to her lungs and liver for stage 4. In year 2, Ellen was treated at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland while we were swimming at Meadowbrook Pool. A few months later thanks to a radical treatment, Ellen’s tumors were eliminated for which we were so grateful. Without cancer research Ellen and thousands others may not have survived or lived as long. Unfortunately Ellen died of endometrial cancer in November 2014.
John Dierkes has been involved in SAA since 1999 when John started swimming across the Long Island Sound in Larchmont, New York. Ironically, John had had a melanoma removed in 1996 and was swimming on Team Kelly, honoring Matthew Kelly, who died from melanoma a few years earlier.
Our whole team has joined in this important effort to support the meaningful work of Dr. Diaz, Dr. Nelson and their staff as they discover important diagnostic tools like the PapGene test and the circulating tumor DNA test to help detect early or recurrent cancers. In the last 7 years, we have made a big difference in extending lives and giving hope to survivors. Plus more discovery is coming soon. Thanks for all who have supported team mELLENoma and Swim Across America and our significant contribution to the cause!
In the past 7 years our team has raised more than $300,000 of a total of nearly $3,500,000 in Baltimore for which we are so grateful. Those patients’ lives we are saving are even more important. Help us do even better this year.
Swim Across America, Inc., [SAA] is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming- related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.