This was how my mother raised me, in and out of the pool. To her, life has been about living the good moments, about getting together with her family and close friends, and about being there for her husband and children. I can recall hours and hours of laughter and always finding the positive in any situation. When things looked bleak or I was down she was the first person I turned to, the first to listen intently, and the first to turn it around and bring out a smile- and then, of course, came the laughter. I laugh a lot with my kids, and I thank my mom for instilling in me that quality of joy and the need to simply use humor in both the good and bad times.
My Mom was recently diagnosed with large cell lymphoma, diffuse, B-cell type, the same exact type that took the life of the man I dated a year ago January, after a fierce two-year battle. Cancer has touched most of our lives in some way, and for me it has been significant. Many of my girlfriends have endured and conquered the battle with breast cancer, but in the last couple of years cancer has taken a man I loved, two college swim teammates, a dear local friend, and now it has reared its ugly head in my mother (again! She battled and conquered breast cancer 8 years ago). So, what should I do? Screaming hasn’t helped. Stomping hasn’t gotten me anywhere. Laughing and using humor has been good, but it’s not enough. I’ve decided I’m going to do what I know and do best, and what has helped me throughout my lifetime – swim. I’m going to bring with every stroke and every breath of this 2.4 miles the laughs, the memories, the strength, the love, and the support that I have been so fortunate to have with my mother. And I’m going to celebrate the joy of living and swimming. Please donate to Swim Across America to help fund more cancer trials and research so we all have more time with the ones we love. 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!
Swim Across America, PO Box 65, Lutz, FL 33548.