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2024 Tampa Bay Open Water Swim

Hakuna Ma-Tata's

Haley Campbell and Dr. Heather Pryor joined Swim Across America – Tampa Bay with a unique team name – Team Hakuna Ma-Tatas. The lighthearted name is a nod to Heather’s recent battle with breast cancer. 

The duo joined Swim Across America as a way to get back in the water, stay active, and give back to the community.

“We both have competed in some form, whether it be competitive swimming or triathlons, and we both wanted to get back in the water. For Heather, it was more than swimming. She had just finished heavy treatments for breast cancer and wanted to find a way to get active again,” said team captain, Haley.

“It seemed like a no-brainer. We both had a deep connection to cancer, so we could support cancer research, while doing something we love.”

Haley also shared that when she was five years old, her father was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia.

“At the time he was given three to five years to live. He looked the doctors dead in the eyes and said, ‘No, I WILL watch my kids graduate from high school,’” said Haley.

“Not only did he get to see us graduate high school, he saw my brother graduate from college. He passed away 16 years after he was diagnosed. I have no doubt that modern advances in cancer research – and his incredibly positive attitude – are the reasons that I was able to not only grow up with my daddy, but I was also able to make memories that I never would have been able to make.”

Like many Swim Across America participants, Heather loved that she could combine celebrating her recovery with giving hope to others fighting the same battle. 

“Through Swim Across America, I not only help myself recover from breast cancer treatments, but I can also help fund research to help others overcome cancer, too.

Heather has been a family physician for 25 years and has discovered cancer in many of her patients throughout her career. 

“I am swimming in honor of all the people who are currently fighting cancer and in memory of those who lost the battle. I am hopeful that my efforts help find a cure for cancer, so others will not have to endure what I and so many others have faced.”

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