Know why I'm swimming?
I am swimming with Swim Across America for the 5th time (after a long hiatus!). I am swimming and raising money to fund awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment because of the impact cancer has had on all of us. In 2022, roughly 1.9 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States and an estimated 609,360 Americans will die of cancer this year alone.
My mom, Kimberly Smaller, died of breast cancer 25 years ago this year (August 12th). She was only 45 years old. I was 23 and my sisters were 22 and 13. My mom never got to meet her grandkids. And although they have heard what a phenomenal woman she was, they will never know her. They've seen pictures so they know she was breath-takingly beautiful. They've seen her photographs so they know she was a gifted photographer. They've heard stories so they know that she was a compassionate social worker who was adored by her clients. Our kids have heard about their grandmother for years so they know that she was loved by everyone and that she had an infectious laugh and the most incredible smile. That she had the best sense of humor and loved her three girls more than life itself. Paige and I always tell our kids that we are who we are because of who our mom was. I aspire to be the woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend that my mom was.
My mom, like so many, did not have to die from cancer. She did not have to die, at 45 years old, a devastating and painful death, leaving her 3 daughters to miss her every day. She was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer on Friday, September 13th, 1996, and died, eleven months later, on August 12th, 1997, after undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and a radical mastectomy.
If everyone can do what they can by participating in events like these or by donating when it is possible, hopefully, we can find a cure for cancer and can prevent more unnecessary deaths. Thank you for your support, emotional and financial. Thank you, thank you!