Today is MAY 18th, 2013 and the anniversary of my health. Today I'm 3 years HEALTHY!
Most of you already know my story and my swimming success in 2009 before cancer. I could have left my success back in 2009, and given up as doctors suggested that my rearranged pecs would not allow me to swim fast or well ever again. I LOVE Swim Across America so much because it's my way of shouting to the world that I NEVER gave up! I'm choosing to swim the 5 K distance in this event which is the longest because I CAN, and I'm GREATEFUL that I CAN! 3 years ago today, doctors performed a double mastectomy to eradicate my "high grade invasive" cancer. That was after a failed lumpectomy and several other procedures. Just 8 months after my last major reconstruction surgery, in 2011, I was back at Masters Nationals competing and winning medals. It's true that life is not the same with my new pectoral "muscles" but my life is not over! I'm "here" doing more than just surviving, I think of myself as thriving in and out of the pool!
I've been part of the Swim Across America event since 2008. That first summer I was swimming for my dad who was dieing of head and neck cancer. I also thought of my grandparents: Flora who died of liver cancer in 1988 and Arthur who died of prostate cancer in 1982. Now, I join Team Hawkeye - as a co-captain - to swim with my former team-mates for a common purpose in Swim Across America:
TO ERADICATE CANCER!
As time goes on you can see this swim becomes more and more dear to me. I LOVE that it's about all of us coming together for 1 purpose and that my team, TEAM HAWKEYE, represents so many people including Bob, Flora, Arthur, AND now Kimberly Stevens - people who've all suffered from the Big "C". ALL Cancer is daunting! I'm LUCKY and BLESSED that I've survived 3 years and counting! AND EVEN LUCKIER that I CAN swim this 5 K in Lake Michigan. You can join me in fighting back against cancer during my 1 hour swim in Lake Michigan on July 20th by giving a small donation - even $25 is AMAZINGLY helpful. I've committed to raising $3000 this year. Please join me AND Team Hawkeye to help us reach our goal. As a team we are looking to raise over $20,000. I know of no other Division 1 Teams who've banded together; young and old to fight against cancer. I'm proud to be the Team Hawkeye "mascot" of sorts. It's truly my privilege to give back by swimming in this event and I would be honored to count you part of my team.
We WILL beat cancer as a society someday and I pray that I'll be around to see it!. Please be part of my swim with a small or large donation. I'm counting on you to make my swim meaningful! You make this difference!
My Sincere Thanks for even considering this cause!
In our lifetime, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer. I joined the SAA community so that, together, we can change that. I am challenging myself by swimming in the Chicago Open Water Swim and raising as much money to fight cancer as I can. Please support me by sponsoring my swim and making a gift. The money you give will go towards cancer research, prevention and treatment and will make an impact in the fight to find a cure. Thank you for your generosity and may it lead to a cancer-free world!
You can make a credit card donation here, or send a check to Swim Across America, 47 West Polk Street, Suite 100-561, Chicago, IL 60605. ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.