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The Mission Doesn't Stop! Anyone that is passionate about cancer research and wants to continue to support SAA - Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center can participate in their own personal challenge all year. Stay tuned for the best yet to come for SAA-Houston in 2021!










The Mission Doesn't Stop! We've reached the coast to coast finish line, but we can keep fighting cancer. Anyone that is passionate about cancer research and wants to continue to support SAA - Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center can participate in their own personal challenge all year.

How can I still support SAA-Houston?

  • Register and recruit friends to join you in your own personal challenge for SAA-Houston. Anyone that is passionate about cancer research can participate all year!
  • Check the SAA Matching Gifts Portal for any donations that can be matched by companies.
  • Continue fundraising to support life-saving research at MD Anderson Cancer Center all year. Connect your SAA page to Facebook and use our Fundraising Messages and Social Media shareables.
  • Spread the word about Swim Across America and bring a new friend in 2021!!

Even in these uncertain times, we can continue making waves to fight cancer. As we navigate COVID-19, we've created a special webpage for event updates, helpful information and ways you can continue to support the mission of Swim Across America.

Swim Across America - Houston is excited for our second year of supporting local cancer research. The annual charity swim hosted in Lake Houston at Alexander Deussen Park offers 1/2 mile, 1 mile and 5K open water swim options. Swimmers, kayakers and event volunteers all come together to "Make Waves to Fight Cancer" and support research at MD Ancerson Cancer Center!

Our 2019 Swim Across America - Houston charity swim granted $140,000 to support cancer research and clinical trials in the departments of Pediatric oncology and Neuro-Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we are unable to have a live in-person event this summer. Alternatively, we will be offering a virtual 'Coast to Coast' Challenge as a way for swimmers, volunteers, family and friends to continue to support research at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

If you have any questions about SAA - Houston, please contact Karlene Denby.

Swim Across America, Inc. (“SAA”) is a nonprofit corporation recognized by the IRS with federal tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax ID #22-3248256)


Swim Across America-Houston will be participating in Coast to Coast - a virtual activity tracking and fundraising challenge where participants will work together to travel across America with a mission to support cancer research. Participants can choose their own activity and goals that will support Team SAA-Houston move across America. Activities can include a walk, bike ride, run, swim or any favorite physical activity in any safe location in your local community. You can even log cancer treatment hours! The virtual route will travel to each Swim Across America open water event city (21 ‘stops’) for a 7,686 mile journey. Tracking will begin June 1st.


Questions about participating in Coast to Coast? All your answers can be found in Frequently Asked Questions.


The full course map and distances for all legs can be found here.


You can find some new and inspiring fundraising messages crafted for 2020 as well as shareable graphics for Instagram, Facebook and your Participant Center to boost your fundraising for the 'Coast to Coast' challenge here.



All 2020 SAA - Houston participants will receive the 2020 commemorative shirt as a thank you for their support and commitment to Swim Across America. This shirt features the slogan "The Mission Doesn't Stop" on the front - a reference to 34 years and counting of impact we've had 'Making Waves To Fight Cancer' with all the SAA cities on back. The tri-blend shirt comes in blue to recognize our frontline heroes in hospitals and research centers in this unprecedented year.



Registration and Fundraising:

To Join the Coast to Coast Challenge, there is a small personal DONATION of $25 to get you started, and while we will encourage you to fundraise, there is NO Fundraising Minimum to participate. We are all working together as an event to travel coast to coast, but you can still choose to register as an individual or as a part of a fundraising team. Teams can be an inspirational way to honor a loved one and motivate your family and friends to register with you!


Already registered for SAA - Houston? Great! No need to change your registration. You are already eligible to participate in the activity tracking challenge.


Note, Online Fundraising Pages on the SAA website are still available, and you can still use Facebook and other Social Media platforms to solicit additional donations. Proceeds from the challenge will support cancer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center.


If this is your first time participating in Swim Across America or if you just need some tips to be a better fundraiser, click here. It will walk you through the participant center and teach you how to email donors, share on social media sites and download the fundraising app.

You may support the swimmer of your choice by making an online donation. Or you may send a check, payable to Swim Across America, to the address below:

Swim Across America, Inc.
8508 Park Rd. #389
Charlotte, NC 28210

Make sure to include a note with the name of the swimmer you are donating to.


Swim Across America - Houston benefits adult and pediatric brain tumor research and clinical trials at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Brain cancer is the second most common cancer in children and a rare cancer in adults, but it’s very difficult to treat and has poor survival at any age. Researchers at MD Anderson are working to find better treatment options, including new immunotherapies, for this historically underfunded cancer type.

Dr. John de Groot

John de Groot, M.D., is the interim chairman of the Neuro-Oncology department at MD Anderson Cancer Center and an active swimmer. His laboratory research focuses on glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive brain cancer in adults, and he serves as principal investigator for several glioblastoma clinical trials.

“Brain cancer doesn’t have as much awareness or funding as many other cancer types, so support from foundations like Swim Across America is crucial to fund research and make progress,” de Groot says.

Click here to view Dr. de Groot's profile video.
Click here to view Dr. de Groot's lab website.

Dr. Richard Gorlick

Richard Gorlick, M.D., is the division head of Pediatrics at MD Anderson Cancer Center. His team includes a group of doctors and scientists dedicated to childhood brain tumors. A childhood cancer survivor himself, Dr. Gorlick personally understands the importance of cancer research and has made it his life’s work to help kids with cancer.

“Too many parents lose their children to brain cancer each year. Support from Swim Across America will help our efforts to improve treatment and survival for childhood brain cancer,” Gorlick says.

Click here to view Dr. Gorlick's profile video.
Dr. Gorlick had his own pediatric cancer experience, read more about his story here.


These Olympians have participated in SAA - Houston in recent years


    Mark Barr
    Cammile Adams
    Sandy Neilson
    Ricky Berens
    Craig Beardsley








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