What better way to spend your birthday than by doing a 4 mile swim? This year on my birthday I will participate in our 4 mile swim again. 2019 brought a new meaning to the swim for me and we continue our fight in 2020.
Summer 2019 was a whirlwind. Cassie found out she had ocular melanoma in June (literally hours before we attended a SAA event). We thought she would start a clinical trial in July but when she went for a scan we found out it was just under the size required to qualify for the trial. This was good news because it meant that the tumor hadn’t grown, but it left us still with a lot of unknowns.
In October 2019, Cassie went for her scheduled monitoring and we found out that her tumor had grown. With the growth, she now qualified for the clinical trial. Cassie completed her first round of the clinical trial in November 2019 and will start her second round in February 2020. The trial is her best shot at reducing the size of the tumor while not affecting her vision. Radiation is still a treatment option but Cassie’s doctor doesn’t want to start that unless the tumor grows. We are hopeful that the trial can yield good results and also keep the tumor in check; maybe even reduce the size.
My dad found out he had skin cancer last year and underwent a successful Moh’s procedure in April 2019. In August 2019 he went in for his annual kidney ultrasound due to kidney issues. Unfortunately, he left the office with bad news. During the scan, they found a large mass on one of his kidneys. The doctor said masses of this nature are most likely cancer but that diagnosis couldn’t be made until the mass was removed. Fast forward to December 2019; dad went in for his surgery not knowing if they would remove just the tumor, the tumor and a portion of the kidney or potentially all of the kidney. The good news is they were able to remove the tumor and scoop a small portion of the kidney out rather than resect part of it. Bad news, it was a very aggressive form of renal cancer but surgery to remove the tumor and any affected part of the kidney is the treatment. They are confident that they were able to get all the cancer cells during his procedure but he will have frequent scans to continue monitoring.
While 2019 was rough on our family in the world of cancer, everything we have gone through has helped us stay aware of what is important in life; making sure we make the most of family and cherishing the time we have.
Last year I was blown away by your generous support and raised just over $10,000! That money stays local and directly helps our local families with their cancer fight. My goal this year is to raise $7,000. I ask you to support my 4 mile swim. I swim for my family. My dad. My wife.
In our lifetime, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer. I joined the SAA community so that, together, I can change that. I am challenging myself by swimming in the Nantucket Island Swim and raising as much money to fight cancer on Nantucket.
With every dollar raised from our Swim, we are changing the game of cancer care on Nantucket and we should all be proud of that. Proceeds directly support the Nantucket Cottage Hospital (NCH) and the Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket (PASCON) oncology efforts to fund vital services for local and visiting cancer patients, minimizing their need to travel for appointments, testing and treatment. Our support allows NCH oncology programs to keep more Nantucket residents on-island for their cancer care, providing them a compassionate and caring environment. We help bring world-class oncologists to the island, allowing our patients to receive treatments at home. Through PASCON, our patients and families receive important physical, emotional and spiritual care free of charge.
Please support me by sponsoring my swim and making a gift. The money you give will go towards cancer care on Nantucket. Thank you for your generosity and may it lead to a cancer-free world!
You can make a credit card donation by clicking on "DONATE" or send a check to Swim Across America - Nantucket, PO Box 3271, Nantucket, MA 02584
Check should be made out to Swim Across America but please include a note mentioning my name as the swimmer you are supporting!