This past August, our teammate and friend, Eliza Evans, passed away at the age of 31 from metastatic breast cancer. Eliza was a member of Charles River Masters for only one year, but she made quite an impact on many of us in her own unassuming, warm and friendly way.
One of Eliza’s obituaries says it perfectly, “what characterized Eliza more essentially was her empathy and kindness for others. She had an inexhaustible appetite for making new friends, and treated everyone, friend and stranger alike, with appreciation and dignity.”
Eliza was in remission from cancer in 2015, and had joined Charles River Masters to keep in shape, to compete and make new friends. She competed with us in the December WPI meet and joined us for the 2016 Swim Across America Relay, including the funny competitions that make the event so entertaining. In June she participated in the Charles River Swim and her teammates watched her rapidly growing faster in the pool.
One day last June, Eliza dove into the water for swim practice, and experienced severe back pain. She had to be assisted out of the water by the lifeguards. Thinking it was a back injury, she went straight to her physical therapist. Sadly, it wasn’t a back injury, but instead, a recurrence of her cancer. Eliza died in hospice care a few short weeks later.
We were all heartbroken. This happened so fast.
On Sunday, April 9th, we will swim in memory of Eliza on a relay organized by Swim Across America to raise money for cancer research.
I will also swim for family and friends who have had or are currently battling cancer, including: my mother, Barbara Rudd Jensen, my childhood friend, Gail Snow Moraski, and her sister-in-law, Sharon Conlin, my childhood friend's husband, Neal Greenberg, my friends, Barbara Appignani, Kitty Tetreault and Conrad Duroseau, my friend's sister, Michelle Yameen, my neighborhood friends, Susan and David Cabot, and my teammates, Harry Henderson and Charlie Martin.
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!