This One's for Jason, and So Many More.
This year's swim is dedicated to my lifelong friend and fellow swimmer, Jason Troiano who was taken by cancer 3 years ago at age 56. He was one in a million - a true friend to all, a loving son, brother, and dad. Jason was an exceptional competitive swimmer from club programs, to high school, college and then swimmer & coach with USA Masters. Jason swam in many Swim Across America events over the years. Jason was truly one of the most genuine, sincere and kind people I've ever known. I was proud to call him my friend and i miss him to this day. When he passed, I promised him, his children and myself that I would swim a SAA event to honor him and raise money to fight the disease that took him way too soon. After several knee surgeries, I am finally ready to honor that promise.
I'm also swimming (as always) for my sister Mary who continues to fight cancer against all odds, my mom who was taken by cancer way too soon in 2015, Ursula Michelson who also left us too soon due to cancer in 2015, my high school friend Maura Gallagher-Wilson, sadly taken this year at 58, and Joan Watson, another high school friend sadly taken this year after multiple battles with cancer.
And so I'll swim for them, and know that the money raised will go to the people on the front lines of this fight, funding new research and finding more effective treatments.
Too many people in our lives have been impacted by cancer. Too many have been taken. Too many lives have been turned upside down. I myself have just gotten the stamp of "cured" from cancer after surgery in 2016 and 8 years of follow up screenings. So I will happily swim for those who can't. Please support this cause if you can.
Thanks for everyone's support. Love to all.