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I am participating for the ninth year in this Swim Across America event in the Long Island Sound. Last year, I re-entered the water in late January or six months prior to the event and registered for the 5K. While easier than the previous year when I re-entered only three months prior, swim remained a challenge and managed to make it to shore under my own power. This year, I have been swimming continuously (like the "good ol' days) so hope that 5K should be manageable. As has been the case since I started SAA swim events in 2014, I will be swimming under the banner of Team Mackey, named for friend and former colleague Bill Mackey who unfortunately succumbed in March 2023 after a remission from lymphoma for over 10 years. I have also embraced the mantle of team captain from Tim Helms a few years ago when he retired to sunny California. Since his retirement, Tim has also staged a successful multi-year battle against prostate cancer. Unfortunately, not all Team Mackey stories end on a positive note. Rich Holzinger, a Team Mackey member in its infancy, succumbed to brain cancer in 2021.
I am sorry to say that I have friends and family members who are less fortunate in their fight with cancer. I am also swimming in the memory of Lou Mante, a long-time friend, and my Best Man, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer eighteen years ago when he was 47. In the last several years, my cousin Joe Morra lost his unexpected and very short battle at age 58. On the other side of the ocean, my cousin Vincenzo Musci passed at age 62.
All of the “M’s” on my list share/shared common traits – very good men in word and deed, loving husbands and caring fathers and, in the case of Lou, Joe, Vincenzo and now Bill, taken from their family and friends at much too young an age. It is in their strength in their fight as well as the strength of their families that inspire and motivate me. Thankfully, I know several cancer survivors, such as Tim and fellow Boot Camper Tiffany Christiansen - their success stories give me hope that we will one day defeat this dreadful affliction.
I appreciate any and all support for this important cause - be it a financial gift, if your situation allows, an encouraging word or positive thoughts for all those who have been afflicted by this terrible disease. Join me in Making Waves to Fight Cancer.
If interested in making a donation, you can make a credit card donation via this site or send a check to:
Swim Across America
P.O. Box No. 217
Larchmont, NY 10538-0217
I want to thank you in advance for your support.