Team Poppy began in 2006 when Tom Ahern (Poppy to his legions of grandkids) received a dire diagnosis; 3 brain tumors which were deemed to be inoperable. After going through chemotherapy at Sloan, Poppy's tumors disappeared and he was cancer free. Then in 2017, a colon obstruction was determined to be stage 2 cancer. Tom again received amazing care at Sloan Kettering and has been cancer free since. Tom turns 91 this year and is incredibly grateful to the dedicated staff at Memorial Sloan Kettering who saved his life twice.
Unfortunately, the last few years have been devastating for some Team Poppy members and close friends and we wanted to share their stories and recognize that we're now swimming in honor of multiple cancer survivors.
Conor McLaughlin was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL) at the age of 2. He is now two years into his treatment with another year and a half left. Despite a few hospital stays for fevers and pneumonia, Conor is doing well. His parents and three brothers are positive and will be forever grateful to their families and friends who have given them such love and support and to organizations like Swim Across America whose funding contributes to Conor's positive prognosis. Conor's mom Timmy, is swimming with Team Poppy.
Longtime Ahern family friend Sorcha Sproul, widowed mother of 3 amazing young girls, saw specks of blood in her urine in September, 2017. Diagnostic tests delivered the devastating diagnosis of stage 4 renal cancer and she only barely survived the surgery she had to remove her left kidney. Nearly two years later, she has endured several more surgeries, bouts of radiation, an attempt at immunotherapy and numerous hospitalizations. Today, being at home with her daughters, Sorcha feels incredibly lucky to have persevered with the help of amazing doctors at New York Presbyterian and Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Longtime Team Poppy swimmer Devery O’Brien’s girlfriend Elma was diagnosed with breast cancer in Oct 2017. She underwent a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. Now in remission and on maintenance medication, she is feeling great! She is thankful for her remarkable team of doctors, support from family and friends, and all the hard work and research that the Swim Across America organization has made possible.
You can make a credit card donation by clicking on one of the members of our team below, or send a check to Swim Across America, If you choose to send a check, please make sure to reference Team Poppy on it.
Swim Across America, Inc., [SAA] is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming- related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.