I swam my first Swim Across America 10 years ago thinking it would be a fun way to spend a Saturday morning with friends. I had no idea that the fundraising I did that day would support cancer research that only a couple years later would save my life.
After I was diagnosed with Lymphoma, a community of friends and family formed a team in my honor. Not only were they there to support me, they were there to support anyone who will one day have to hear the words, "you have cancer." I didn't realize that for one of my friends, that day would come so soon.
This year is different. My dear friend Julian Fraser passed away in February after a 10 month battle with Osteosarcoma - he was only 20 years old. Julian's cancer was rare and research that could have saved him didn't come in time. I am honoring Jules in the best way I know how: swimming, fundraising, and getting the word out about Swim Across America! I hope to one day live in a world where no other person has to endure what he did.
I hope to use his passing as a catalyst for funding towards Osteosarcoma research. Julian may be gone, but through events like Swim Across America, I will make sure his legacy lives on. Lives will continue to be saved by Julian.