Welcome to my Swim Across America page in honor of Troy Mann.
Troy has always been there for me, and such an important part of our family that it is impossible to convey everything that Troy means to me. Troy was such a truly special person. He was loved by so many and had more friends than anyone you've ever met. To me and my brother, he was always our Uncle Troy, fun-loving and loving.
Tragically, Troy lost his courageous battle with Cancer just a few months ago on March 1st and honestly I am still just trying to come to grips with it. Participating in Swim Across America to raise money for Cancer Research at Siteman Center makes me feel like I am doing some small thing in this fight and it is my great honor to swim for Troy.
Although he was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma in the summer of 2020, around his 54th birthday, it was supposed to be highly treatable. Troy was optimistic and brave from the start, looking forward to the better days ahead after the rounds of radiation and chemo. But what followed were a lot of ups and downs in pursuit of a combination of treatments that would actually work for Troy and stabilize his cancer. He suffered through so many different side effects and we all, especially Troy, waited for the day that he would feel better and up to doing some epic bucket list kinds of things. He put on a brave face and still tried to do normal things, but he never reached the point where he felt good in his body or the peace of mind that the cancer was stable.
Troy had so much life left to live. He was too young. It's not fair. It is heartbreaking to all of us who love Troy, to accept that the exact treatment to beat the cancer in his body wasn't found in time. Visiting Siteman Cancer Center is overwhelming when you realize that every patient there has Cancer. With nearly 10,000 newly diagnosed patients each year, it is one of the largest Cancer Centers in the US and currently has over 375 clinical trials in progress. They get closer every day to innovating individualized cancer treatments for each patient. Please consider donating to advance this lifesaving research.
I am grateful to be swimming on Aug. 26th with some of my CHS swim team friends and our coaches, all more experienced swimmers than me. Troy taught us all that it is better to do hard things with friends. You can be sure that Troy will be with me for the one mile open water swim, trying to convince me that the lake water isn't that gross and to never give up!
Thank you for helping me #MakeWavesToFightCancer.