Swim Across America Honored at the Value-Based Cancer Care Summit

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Olympians Craig Beardsley, Rowdy Gaines and Steve Lundquist

The 8th annual Value Based Cancer Care Summit brought together more than 300 thought leaders in academic, government, pharmaceutical and biotech. Change and innovation are happening at a fast pace in the field of healthcare and especially oncology. The purpose of the two-day summit was to create an active dialogue among the stakeholders in oncology care that ultimately will improve the quality of patient care.

Swim Across America, which has granted over $80 million dollars into cancer research, clinical trials and prevention, was selected as the beneficiary for the summit. Several of the oncologists shared during panel discussions the importance of Swim Across America’s early stage grant funding and how SAA’s funding has helped lead to breakthroughs and FDA approvals of new immunotherapy treatments.

In a personal testimonial, Dr. Jedd Wolchok of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center eloquently shared that SAA grant funding has helpeIMG_0279.JPGd numerous young investigators move forward their research ideas, many of whom are immigrants and are the pioneers in immunotherapy and personalized medicine.

Olympian and SAA ambassador Rowdy Gaines attended the summit giving a keynote talk about the 1980 Olympic boycott and how he persevered against the odds to win three gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic games. Rowdy also shared how cancer has touched his life, losing his stepfather and sister to the disease.

The evening reception was attended by the Swim Across America Board of Directors, Olympians Steve Lundquist and Craig Beardsley, and the leaders from our SAA-Long Island Sound and SAA-Fairfield County charity swims. The reception was dedicated to Swim Across America as we shared stories from survivors, volunteers, and participants.

It was an honor for Swim Across America contributions to be recognized and it was meaningful to be part of these important discussions as we strengthened our relationships and lifted our goodwill.

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SAA Remembers Quinn the Leonberger

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It is with sadness that we inform you that the beloved Quinn the Leonberger passed shortly after the 2018 Dallas swim. Quinn and his handler Peggy Walker were participants and supporters of the Swim Across America – Dallas event from the beginning. Quinn not only attended each open water and pool swim, but he was also a magnet for the media which helped spread the word about the importance of phase 1 fundraising and the great work being done at the Swim Across America Innovative Clinical Trial Center at BaylorScott&White. He and Peggy were introduced to the swim through the Cancer Center where Quinn was a pet therapy dog. Both he and Peggy had been touched by cancer so their support and participation was only natural.  In total, Quinn raised $27,520 for the swim making him one of the event’s largest fundraisers.

His gentle spirit was a highlight for many survivors, participants and children who were usually not expecting to see a dog the size of Quinn but automatically smiled when they realize how gentle he was.

He was surrounded by his family, at home in his living room when he left. He will be deeply missed and we thank Peggy Walker for sharing him with the Swim Across America family.

 

 

MORE THAN 30 COLLEGES PARTICIPATED IN SWIM ACROSS AMERICA IN 2018

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Community service is one of the best ways for college swim programs to build team chemistry and goodwill with their university. In 2018, more than 30 college programs volunteered their time by participating in a Swim Across America charity swim.

Swim Across America’s slogan is #MakingWavesToFightCancer and it does so by hosting open water charity swims. Since it’s founding in 1987, SAAs charity swim program has granted over $80 million to its mission of funding cancer research and clinical trials.

“364 days a year we compete with each other,” said Providence College head coach John O’Neill at the Swim Across America—Rhode Island charity swim. “But today, we all wear the same swim cap. We’ve all been touched by cancer and we swim in honor of survivors and those we’ve lost so that others may have hope.” John was awarded the College Swim Coaches Association of America community service award in 2016 for his support of Swim Across America.

The college programs that participated and volunteered at an SAA charity swim include Assumption College, Boston University, Bryant University, Brown University, Cal Catawba College, College of Holy Cross, Colorado School of Mines, East Carolina University, Emory, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Loyola University, Maryville University, McKendree University, Northeastern University, Penn State, Providence College, Queens University, Roger Williams University, Seattle University, SMU, St. Louis University, TCU, Truman State, Tufts University, University of California, University of Connecticut, University of Georgia, University of Idaho, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Missouri, University of Missouri – St. Louis, University of North Texas, University of Texas, Ursuline College, Villanova and Wesleyan University.

The 2019 Swim Across America calendar will include charity swims in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston-Kiawah, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Fairfield County (CT), Houston, Long Island, Nantucket, Nassau (NY), Richmond, Rhode Island, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Tampa.

Olympian Craig Beardsley heads up Swim Across America’s college program. He can be reached at craig@swimacrossamerica.org to learn more.

Swim Across America Impact: The 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Since it’s founding in 1987, SAA charity swims have funded more than $75 million to cancer research. SAA grant researchers have developed multiple FDA approved immunotherapies, gene therapy and personalized therapy treatments. Swim Across America Impact highlights  where SAA grants have changed lives.

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The 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine has been awarded to Dr. Jim Allison and Dr. Tasuku Honjo for their work in immunotherapy.  Swim Across America grants have played a role in the development of their research.

Dr. Jim Allison has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his breakthrough research that our immune system can fight cancer. The Swim Across America research lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center collaborated with Dr. Allison to focus its research and clinical trials to understand how immunotherapy treatments could be developed for patients. The research and our grant funding at Memorial Sloan is more important than ever to understand why some patients respond to immunotherapy and others

Dr. Tasuku Honjo was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine. His discovery helped pioneer a new type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy. With Dr. Honjo’s discovery, SAA beneficiary Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins was able to conduct a clinical trial funded by Swim Across America that helped lead to the FDA approval of Keytruda. Families are being given hope because of pioneering research and non-profits like Swim Across America that provide grant funding.

You can read more about the 2018 prize here.

 

 

SAA FAMILY TREE (OCTOBER 2018)

SAA Family Tree is a monthly focus on stories that display the impact all the members of the Swim Across America family have both locally and nationally. If you have a story or link you’d like to share, please send here.

 

SAA – Charleston-Kiawah

  • Event Director Brad Johnson promoted our 2nd annual swim on Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

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SAA – Seattle

SAA – Atlanta

  • This 11Alive Recap of the Atlanta swim and ‘Amazing’ Grace Bunke’s legacy at the swim is a fitting tribute: “Hope has no finish line.”Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 2.30.26 PM

SAA – Baltimore

SAA – Charlotte

  • SAA CEO Rob Butcher donned the wetsuit on WCCB News Rising.Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 2.22.01 PM
  • SAA Director of Marketing Ryan Baucom and Dr. Edward Copelan of Levine Cancer Institute talked all things SAA on Charlotte Today.38280536_2204571959556269_4391243862727720960_n

SAA – Richmond

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The Best of Swim Across America Olympians (2018)

We appreciate the support of all the Olympians who have donated their time to support the SAA cause in 2018. These Olympians have attended our swims and special events generating awareness and raising donations for our beneficiaries. Thanks for all you do for SAA!

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – TAMPA

Charlie Houchin, Eric Wunderlich, Steve Lindquist

 

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – GREENWICH-STAMFORD

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Charlie Houchin, Cristina Teuscher and Craig Beardsley at SAA – Greenwich-Stamford

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – BOSTON

Doug Gjertsen, Erik Vendt, Klete Keller, Eric Wunderlich, Alex Meyer, Craig Beardsley and Janel Jorgensen McArdle

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – CHARLESTON-KIAWAH

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – CHICAGO

Charlie Houchin and Sebastian Rousseau

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SAA – LONG ISLAND SOUND (POOL SWIM)

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Cristina Teuscher and Long Island Sound swimmers

SAA – SOUND TO COVE

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Olympians Craig Beardsley and Steve Lundquist with the SAA – Nassau Suffolk team

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – ST. LOUIS

Ryan Berube, Ryan Held and Mark Gangloff

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – DENVER

Missy Franklin, Elizabeth Beisel, George DiCarlo, Susan Bartholomew-Williams, Susan von der Lippe, Lindsay Benko Mintenko, Mike Mintenko, Andrew Gemmell, Heather Petri, Kara Lynn Joyce, Brickelle Bro, Mara Abbott, Klete Keller, Ashley Whitney, Katie Huff and Doug Gjertsen

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – RHODE ISLAND

Elizabeth Beisel, Craig Beardsley, Janel Jorgensen McArdle and Clara Walker

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – SEATTLE

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Mary Wayte Bradburne with some Kids Splash swimmers

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – SAN FRANCISCO

Heather Petri, Dana Kirk, Ericka Lorenz, Susan Heon-Preston, Cathy Carr West, Staciana Stitts Winfield, Mike Bruner, Jessica Steffens, Annika Dries, Mark Henderson, Rada Owen, Mike Kiedel, Brikelle Bro, and Christine Magnuson

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – CHARLOTTE

Charlie Houchin, Lauren Perdue, Hannah Aspden, Marko Blazevski, Tharon Drake and Karlee Bispo

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – ATLANTA

Missy Franklin, Geoff Gaberino, Doug Gjertsen, Bobby Hackett, McClain Hermes, Katie Hoff, Kara Lynn Joyce, Kristy Kowal, Steve Lundquist, Maritza Correia McClendon, Megan Neyer, Amanda Weir, Ashley Whitney, Peter Wright, Nei-Kuan Chia, Ramon Valle, Hali Flickinger and Shannon Vreeland.

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – DALLAS

Dana Vollmer, Ryan Berube, Charlie Houchin and Jim Montgomery

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – SMAC OUT CANCER POOL SWIM

Susan Heon-Preston, Craig Beardsley and Mike Bruner

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Pool Swims Across America

In Pool Swims Across America, we feature local pool swims that raise awareness for cancer research. If you’re interested in getting your local swim team or pool involved, learn more here.

Miles for Mark Pool Swim (July 21) — Glastonbury, CT

Glastonbury High School swim team hosts this event in honor of Coach Mark, who has Multiple Myeloma. Coach Mark has been part of this team for more than 15 years and has been a huge support and inspiration and the event raised over $8,000!

 

 

Flyers Fighting Cancer Pool Swim (July 13th) — Fairfax, VA

Many members of the Flyers team and others within our community have been touched by cancer in one way or another. Congrats on raising over $5,000!

 

Middlesex Club Pool Swim – Part of Fairfield County Swimming League Pool Swims

Over $4,000 raised to support Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy as part of SAA – Greenwich- Stamford!

 

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Fins for A Cure Pool Swim – July 14th – Ulmstead Swim Club (Annapolis, MD)

Over $19,000 raised to support Johns Hopkins as part of SAA – Baltimore! Way to go to the Fins team in year seven!

 

 

Stoneleigh Pool Swim – July 13th – Stoneleigh Pool (Annapolis, MD)

Over $4,000 raised to support Johns Hopkins as part of SAA – Baltimore! Stoneleigh is making waves in year seven.