Join Me to Make Waves to Fight Cancer
I joined the Swim Across America family in 2012, not long after a family friend had been diagnosed with Medulloblastoma at the very young age of six. It was then I learned that only 4% of government funding was focused on pediatric cancers, and even less on pediatric brain cancer. Because of the toxicity of current treatments, most kids will suffer at least one chronic health condition later in life, even if their cancer is cured.
I also learned how difficult it is for scientists to apply for and receive funding. They are asked to be grant writers, sales people and researchers. It seemed to me they should be focused most on using their skillsets to find better treatments for cancer. While I will never be smart enough to understand the biology behind finding new cures, I feel passionately that I can use my background to creatively fundraise to help give the doctors the resources they need.
I love Swim Across America for so many reasons. I love that all the money we raise goes to support direct costs related to research. I love that we get to meet the doctors we are supporting, see them swim, and hear directly from them on how our donations are being spent. I love supporting leading edge ideas and research that big funding organizations will not invest in early on. I especially love when an SAA funded project, takes off exponentially because of our support, and leads to clinic trials. Most of all, I love when the trials are successful and lives are extended or enhanced in a way that would have never been possible without our support.
In addition to all the reasons above, I love SAA because it is made up of a family of people who genuinely want to do the right thing to move this cause forward. I love that our Olympians, show up to our events, with their sleeves rolled up and ready to work. Our volunteers are like no other! It is because of our volunteers and sponsors that we are able to keep our costs down and focus on the task at hand. And most recently, I love the challenge of helping our junior leaders increase awareness, improve fundraising and add their own touch to our events. It has been so rewarding to find a deeper purpose for our sport of swimming!
We all have been impacted by cancer. I'm very proud to say, that with the support of the entire SAA Atlanta family, we were able to make a substantial donation to Dr. Tobey MacDonald and the work we supported did result in new treatments for Medulloblastoma. It's easy to sit around and wish for a cure or better treatment options. I'm glad I decided to swim and get after it instead! There is still a lot of work to be done. I'm fired up to see the impact we can help make in Charlotte!
Founded in 1987, Swim Across America has hosted charity swims with one goal: to raise money for innovative cancer research that would lead to breakthrough treatments and therapies. Since then, Swim Across America has raised over $100M to fund the next generation of pioneers in oncology and cancer-support care.
Thank you for helping me #MakeWavesToFightCancer.