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Our beneficiaries are in the communities of our open water swims. The doctors receiving SAA grants attend the swim and are part of the experience. They enjoy meeting participants and donors, and sharing how the SAA grant is helping them in the fight against cancer. The connection of a local SAA swim to a local beneficiary is part of what makes SAA so special.

Our scientific advisory committee is renowned cancer MDs and PHDs with decades of experience in clinical trials and cancer research. They help us select projects and researchers who are on the forefront of new cures and treatments to cure cancer. Our grant focus is not a specific type of cancer. Rather, we provide seed grants to the projects that present the best opportunities to have a breakthrough in the fight against cancer.

With the data from clinical trials and research, our beneficiaries are then able to apply for additional and new funding from the National Institute of Health, other foundations, biotech and pharmaceuticals. Our beneficiaries have reported that for every grant dollar they receive from SAA, they are able to secure $3 in new funding they might not otherwise have received.

We granted $4.8 million for 2017 and unfortunately had to turn down many deserving grants. Our ambitious goal is to fund $100 million in the next decade to speed up cures for cancer.

It is important donors know that our beneficiary agreement requires 100% of SAA grants be applied to approved projects and not other things such as overhead and buildings.

There are nine named Swim Across America research labs demonstrating the commitment and partnership of the beneficiary and Swim Across America.


  • SAA ACGT Lead Image

    Children's Hospital Colorado
    FOCUS: Aacute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) research project helping to define better methods to detect leukemia cells in pediatric patients.

  • SAA ACGT Lead Image

    Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy
    FOCUS: Cancer gene and cell therapy, including immunotherapy
    2017 GRANT: $350,000

  • SAA Nantucket Lead Image

    FOCUS:  Cancer research and clinical trials in the departments of Pediatric Oncology and Neuro-Oncology