This is the 15th year I am participating in a Swim Across America event. I began with the Long Island event in 2003 and continue to swim in that event every year while I helped start the Tampa event back in 2011. In Tampa, we have raised almost $1,000,000 for Moffitt Cancer Center! I am so proud to be part of such an incredible cause as the monies raised go directly to Metastatic Melanoma research and Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Care at Moffitt. This year, we added Johns Hopkins Childrens Cancer Center in St. Petersburg FL as a beneficiary.
As you may know, my family and friends have been devastated by Cancer. My younger brother Paul battled 3 Cancer types over his short 43-year life before passing away in 2010. My sister JoAnn has battled 3 Cancer types, Hodgkins, Breast and Lung, and was diagnosed with Lepto Menengial Disease in early 2017 which is Cancer in the meninges that surrounds the brain and spine. Over the past 12 months she has undergone radiation and Immunotherapy treatments at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NY. She is in the middle of a very tough battle ahead of her but I know she will previal as she is an inspiration to me. Her strength, determination and courage are unparalleled!
My Aunt Fay is a Breast Cancer survivor, my Sister in Law Lori Murn is a Breast Cancer Survivor, my friend Dave Janeway is a stage 4 Rectal Cancer survivor and was recently diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, team member Andy Alberdi, completed treatment for mouth cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center over a year ago and is doing remarkably well. I am so proud of them all.
My Dad passed away on February 3rd after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis and my Brother in Law Richie Magnussen passed away in March after a courageous 5+ year battle with small intestine cancer.
The statistics are staggering, in our lifetime, 1 in 3 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 Tampa Bay Open Water Swim in memory and honor of those I mentioned above, 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!