Cary - May 20
It seems like almost everybody’s life has been touched by cancer somehow. In this year alone, an estimated 1,334,000 cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. This staggering statistic offers compelling evidence of the need to continue devising new approaches to research and treatment.
Mary DeMilia of Raleigh received one of those devastating diagnoses. In July 2011, she was diagnosed with Stage 3A breast cancer. She began treatment to try to shrink the tumors prior to surgery, and, as she was surfing the Web during one of her chemotherapy sessions, an idea was born: host a swimathon to raise money toward cancer research. The Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary signed on and donated the entire 50-meter swimming pool for the event, and Swim Across America is providing individual swimmers with fundraising Web pages, incentive prizes, and organizational ideas.
Swim Across America, Inc., 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.
To date, Swim Across America has raised more than $40 million toward these goals. Their major research beneficiaries are the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Cancer Support Team of Westchester County, Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, Women & Infants Hospital in Rhode Island, The Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy in Stamford, Conn., Mercy Medical Center in Long Island, N.Y., Cold Spring Harbor Lab in New York, Fighting Chance in Long Island, and Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, Calif. All of these recognize SAA funding source as instrumental to their success. Without Swim Across America, much of their research would be left with no monetary support.
Since 1987 SAA has grown to hold dozens of events all over the country, each with its own distinct personality, like Swimming the Distance in Cary. Swim Across America began as a grassroots organization with events developing organically. Now, those events raise hundreds of thousands of dollars – and money raised is still given to local beneficiaries that happen to be some of the best in the world.
Olympians who have joined the Swimming the Distance event include 1980 Olympian and former world record holder Craig Beardsley, who s the current pool director for Swim Across America; Sue Walsh, 1980 Olympian and most decorated Tar Heel swimmer; and Ray Carey, 1996 Olympian 200 fly Stanford standout. They will host a clinic during the event on May 20.
In addition to the support of Beardsley, Walsh, and Carey, a number of area nonprofits have signed on to the idea, offering their sponsorship. Among them are the Raleigh Area Masters swim team, Isis Athletics and le Tour de Femme. YOTA, New Wave swimming, and the Raleigh Swim Association are sending many swimmers to this event. But the event is not limited to age-group swimmers. It’s open to all ages and abilities. The point is to swim the events, have fun, and raise money to help find a cure for cancer.
When: Sunday, May 20, 1-6 p.m.
Where: Triangle Aquatic Center, 275 Convention Drive, Cary, N.C. 27511
How to join: Visit www.swimacrossamerica.org/cary and click the “Register as an Individual” button on the right to register and get your own fundraising page to send out to your friends and family.
Fundraising: The event asks that each swimmer raise at least $25. Many will raise more but if everyone raises $25, the swim could raise thousands to support cancer research, prevention and treatment.
Fundraising incentives: Raise the amounts below and receive great SAA swag items for your efforts!
$100 - Swim Across America T-shirt
$200 - Swim Across America sunglasses
$500 - Swim Across America towel
$1,000 - Swim Across America engraved iPod Shuffle