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St. Louis Coast to Coast

Honoree Collage
Honoree Collage

Team C.A.T.

Thank you for visiting Team C.A.T.'s page! I've modified this page since some of you initially donated, given changes due to COVID-19.

Swim Across America was founded over three decades ago with a mission of granting the proceeds from charity swims to fund cancer research. Here in St. Louis, our local event benefits Siteman Cancer Center, a great partner and resource in cancer research and treatment. This year, with COVID-19, the swim event has been canceled, but SAA is still fundraising for the same great cause, and participants are able to select their own activity to generate support for SAA and cancer research at Siteman.

We all have a story of how cancer has affected us. For me, it’s reflecting on the past year and the realization that cancer has impacted so many people close to me. I wanted to do something about it. That’s why I am swimming on Saturday, August 29th bicycling the section of old Route 66 from Chicago (starting at Grant Park) to the Arch in St. Louis from June 25th to however long it takes (likely 7 or 8 days) to honor 4 friends and their families. I hope you will join me through daily updates about the ride and make a donation to my team to support the work of Swim Across America and Siteman Cancer Center.

Please take a moment to learn about my four honorees and make a donation to support SAA and Siteman Cancer Center.

Chris Bini is the son of my Kappa Sigma fraternity brother and good friend, Phil Bini. Chris is 12 years old has been bravely fighting Stage 3 Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma cancer since his diagnosis on May 20, 2018. I have followed Chris' daily journey through texts and conversations with his Dad. Chris has been a role model to me in many ways, such as the perseverance he showed this year during a hospital stay to get his numbers back to where they need to be in order to continue treatment. Chris also remains active in school, watching Star Wars, building Legos, hanging out with his brother, Nathan, as well as letting his Mom, Kelly, know how special she is to him. (Keep up the fight Chris!! You rock!!!)

Angela Strum is the wife of my business partner, Steve Strum, at Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. ("SPvG"). Angela has been bravely fighting Stage 1 breast cancer since her diagnosis on April 2, 2019. I've met Angela at various SPvG events, as well as crossing paths with her and Steve as they leave our parking garage and head to Cardinals games. She always has a smile on her face, is quick to say hello and to make everyone feel special. Angela and Steve have two teenage kids. Angela remains very active with her family, is a great role model to her kids, and continues to do volunteer work for people in need. (Thanks, Angela. You are awesome!! Keep up the fight!!)

Tom Long is a colleague at SPvG. Tom is battling squamous cell carcinoma and giving everything he has to the fight, just like in his professional career. Tom is a gracious and gregarious person, and over the years has been very charitable and generous with his time. He once helped me by (tirelessly) organizing a cycling team to ride in Alton, IL (his hometown) in support of finding a cure for diabetes , and now I'd like to return the favor. (Thanks, Tom. Keep fighting, buddy.)

Tim O'Leary was my business partner at SPvG. Tim bravely fought Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer since his diagnosis on July 30, 2019 until his passing on March 16, 2020. What can I say about Tim that would convey to you how thoughtful and caring he was as a person, how good of a friend he was to all of us here at SPvG, and how very talented he was as an attorney?? Words cannot adequately describe it. Tim was very special to me and to all of us here at SPvG. Tim's spirit lives on through his wife Collette who showed us all how to be couragious, gracious, and loving at times when life just isn't fair. (Tim, you were incredible, brother!!! Collette, you too were incredible!!! Our thoughts remain with you.)

Thank you to Chris, Angela, Tom and Tim. And, thank you for reading this page and doing whatever you can to support SAA and Team C.A.T.!!!

If you would like to help, please make a secure credit card donation through the SAA website, or send a check to Swim Across America - St. Louis, PO Box 490, O'Fallon, IL 62269. Checks should be made payable to "Swim Across America" and include a note mentioning my name as the swimmer you are supporting.

I'm also recruiting anyone interested in swimming in this event with me or joining me at the event to volunteer, to support the cause or to cheer on the swimmers and, more importantly, cheer on and honor Chris, Angela, Tom, and Tim. Please let me know if you would like to learn more about this opportunity, or simply "dive" in and register today. Insert "Team C.A.T." as your designated team. If you have any trouble with the registration reach out to me at The swim event is held on Saturday, August 29th at Alpine Lake at Innsbrook and includes swims ranging in length from .5 miles to 2.4 miles.

By #MakingWavesToFightCancer with us, you are part of a community that is committed to giving more families hope in the fight against cancer.

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