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2024 Seattle Open Water Swim

Martha and Family 2011
Martha and Family 2011

Team Martha Ries

Thanks for being part of Team Martha Ries. It's 2023 and CV19 is has abated and cancer still rages on. This year we will have a live event back at Luther Burbank Swim Beach!! SO GRATEFUL for this! Son Ryan and daughter Lauren are now 21, graduated HS and are attending university. When we started SAA-Seattle in 2009, our kids were 6 years old. So, much has happened in 15 years and we have made a difference in the Fight Against Cancer by funding $8.5M of research at Fred Hutch Cancer Center. 

Marty and I have been organizing, swimming and raising funds for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/Fred Hutch Cancer Center since the inaugural event in 2009. In 2015, Marty was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and on May 29th 2016 she passed away. Ten months from diagnosis to her passing, she persevered two rounds of chemo, surgeries, and clinical trial. This is quite devastating and life changing for me, and Lauren and Ryan and all her friends and relatives. We are not the only ones and our resolve to carry on to discover treatments and fight cancer are ever more empowered. Marty's sister Margaret had a cancerous brain tumor successfully removed this April 2023. My brother Andrew's wife, Dana, is battling colorectal cancer currently, and my brother Bruce's wife Mia is battling breast cancer also right now Also, y friend Bill Kinsella was diagnosed with pancreas cancer. He has a wonderful wife and great two daughters, April 13th 2017, he passed away. We hope and pray and swim for them. In 2013 Marty's dad Andy Ries died from cancer, we remember, pray and swim for Andy.  Two years ago my friend in Maine, Francine O'Donnell, passed away from Lymphoma Myeloma, a battle she fought for 12 years. Since 2009, Francine supported our work to fund research, thanks Francine and God bless you. In the year of Martha's treatment we educated ourselves as much as we could, learning that SO MUCH MORE KNOWLEDGE is needed to make headway against cancer and in particular pancreas cancer. There are survivor stories, Debbie Buck college friend and wife to my college roommate Tom Buck is in remission and cancer free from breast cancer. College friend Jeff Sloan beat stage 4 melanoma, with multiple treatments, several rounds of chemotherapy, and many surgeries at Seattle Cancer Care alliance/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and UW Medical Center. 

Monetary support fuels the engine of discovery and successful outcomes. Reach out to all you know to support the research which is making progress each day, and we are gaining solutions for more and more people. On behalf of all cancer survivors and in memory of all those that have not survived, like Marty, we thank you for supporting research to fight and irradiate cancer. Thank you for honoring my wonderful wife and mother of my children, Martha Ries.

Peace and Love,


In our lifetime, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer. We joined the SAA community so that, together, we can change that. We are challenging ourselves by swimming in the Seattle Open Water Swim and raising as much money to fight cancer as we can. Please support us by sponsoring our swim and making a gift. 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 Seattle , 6917 93rd Avenue SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

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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.

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