This year marks the 43rd anniversary since my first bout with cancer. I was just 21 years old and was treated at Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York City, one of Swim Across America's beneficiaries. As the years go on, I realize that I am committed more than ever to raise money to help Swim Across America help investigators, researchers, physicians, and support services find a cure for cancer in our lifetime. Swim Across America raises money through open water events and pool swims across the United States and last year gifted almost $5 million.
During the past 14 years, our team....YOUR TEAM, has raised over $1 million for our local pediatric cancer research programs. This year, they need our help more than ever due to diverted funding to COVID-19. As we all know, cancer is still happening and we need to help our kids.
THIS YEAR OUR EVENT IS VIRTUAL! In honor of my 43 years of survival, and my 65th birthday, my goal is to have 65 swimmers, kayakers, runners, cyclists, yogis. dancers, hikers, walkers or anyone join Team Susan Survives and together raise $165,000. Please join my team and commit to doing any activity from June through September 2020. Pick an activity and get your friends and families to sponsor you by the mile, the lap, the hours....even if you only raise $100. Every little bit will help us help our beneficiaries who need our funding.
I am honored and proud to have survived cancer 3 times, and I want nothing more than to have anyone who ever gets a cancer diagnosis to have the chance to live and survive as I have. My second cancer was 22 years ago, and my 3rd was almost 11 years ago in 2009. That year, I could not swim with Swim Across America because I was recovering from a 6 1/2 hour Whipple surgery for neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer and spent 23 days at Stanford Hospital.
This year, I'm hoping that friends, old and new, from near and far will join me and Team Susan Survives to raise money for pedicatric cancer research at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals in SF and Oakland. It's for a great cause, it is a great challenge, and it is a way to give back. As NIH and other government funds are harder and harder get, non-profits like Swim Across America are desperately needed to fill in the funding gaps. This year, I am exercising in memory and in honor of far too many people to name. I will add their names to a cap when I swim laps or go in the Bay. But there is one woman, in particular, that I must mention, my mom, Edna Helmrich. She passed away last year at age 92 and was a 53-year breast cancer survivor. She is my role model and my hero.
So please join Team Susan Survives by doing an activity you love from June through September, or you can just donate and help us help Swim Across America find a cure and help survivors of childhood cancer. You can be sure that 80 cents of every dollar will go directly to research or support services here in the Bay area to our local beneficiaries, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals in SF and Oakland.
In our lifetime, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer. SAA wants to change that. The money you give will go towards cancer research, prevention and treatment and will make an impact in the fight to find a cure. Thank you for your generosity and may it lead to a cancer-free world!
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, 1684 8th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122. If you are supporting me or Team Susan Survives! please write that on the memo line.If you are donating through FB, you can just click the "DONATE" button.Thanks for your support,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
Susan and Team Susan Survives