While I volunteered last year for Swim Across America, I missed it. Who would have figured I would hear a day before that my son has stage 4 cancer. That weekend was a blur, and it was only after that weekend that I realized I hadn’t showed up for this great event. I lost my father, mother, aunts, uncle, grand mother to cancer and my two sisters had breast cancer, but it always seemed different. I guess it perhaps isn’t until it’s your child. I can recall having left my car in for servicing the day I heard the news, but needed to meet an agent at a new listing with their accepted offer. It was a 25 minute walk away, and I would never have thought of asking someone to step in on my behalf. Hey! I am British. Stiff upper lip and all that. I think I walked mindlessly there just trying to blot out everything. I forgot about that until a year later as I was driving that same route on a Saturday evening. Swim Across America 2022 was on July 30th, and my son, A.J. had called me on July 30th 2021 to let me know that while he had been told he had COVID, they also told him he had stage 4 colon and liver cancer. He had basically no symptoms, He was young, healthy and discounted any discomfort as he was young. Just 37. A three time Olympian, a commercial pilot (just hired by L3 Harris) and madly in love with Nina, his beautiful German girlfriend. They had planned to get engaged and start a wondrous life together.
I guess that is what makes this organization that more powerful, important and wonderful. My good friend, Bonnie and I arrived at 5 am (this year) to volunteer, and the morning was well organized as usual, went seamlessly, and so here are a few photos to share but meant so much to me. I truly appreciated all of the team names, the amounts the teams had raised, and the love that pervaded the event throughout. Upon writing this, $1,418,296 has been raised so far this year. So wonderful. Bless everybody involved.
Where does the money go?
“Our scientific advisory committee is renowned cancer MDs and PHDs with decades of experience in cancer research and clinical trials. They help us select projects and researchers who are the pioneers to curing cancer. Our grant focus is not a specific type of cancer. Rather, we provide seed grants to the projects that present the best opportunities to have a breakthrough. With the data, researchers are then able to apply for additional funding from the National Institute of Health, other foundations, and industry. Our beneficiaries have reported that for every grant dollar they receive from SAA, they are able to secure $3 in new funding they might not otherwise have received.”
“In over three decades, Swim Across America has granted close to $100 million dollars that have led to breakthroughs in immunotherapy, gene therapy, personalized medicine, and patient programs. It is important donors know that our grant agreement requires 100% of SAA grants be applied to approved projects and not other things such as overhead and buildings.”
Larchmont is GREAT!