Swim Across America is excited to celebrate our top fundraisers with the 2023 WaveMaker gift! Swimmers and volunteers who raise $1,000 or more will receive an insulated 32 oz Wide-Mouth Hydro Flask water bottle.
As part of the WaveMaker club, we want you to show your SAA pride year-round with a Hydro Flask perfect for any occasion. Ideal for everyday and outdoor adventure, the Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth vacuum water bottle packs 32 oz. of hydration, and keeps your beverage hot or cold for hours. Want to take this awesome item home with you? Register today and set your fundraising goal to WaveMaker!
We appreciate that many of our supporters designated Swim Across America to receive proceeds from purchases made through the AmazonSmile program. Through AmazonSmile, Swim Across America has been able to cover a portion of what it takes to provide a safe and enjoyable charity swim experience.
Amazon announced that on February 20, 2023 they are discontinuing the Smile program for all charities. This means purchases made through Amazon will not support SAA or any other charities after February 20.
Swim Across America still needs your support. With AmazonSmile ending, there are a few ways to continue to give to Swim Across America:
Add an extra $10 when you register for or make a donation to a charity swim.
An immunotherapy clinical trial that Swim Across America provided grant funding has reached another milestone.
The Dr. Luis Diaz Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering began receiving grants from Swim Across America in 2017. SAA grant funding allowed Dr. Diaz and his colleague, Dr. Andrea Cercek, to meet patients and conduct immunotherapy research. With SAA grant support, the lab opened a clinical trial and recruited 14 patients with advanced rectal cancer. The patients qualified through genetic testing and were treated with a single dose of immunotherapy. The patients didn’t require surgery, chemo, or radiation–which was remarkable as traditional treatments often have a negative emotional, physical, and financial effect on the quality of life for patients and their families.
Dr. Luis Diaz and Dr. Andrea Cercek
All 14 patients responded with no evidence of disease. This is believed to be the first time a clinical trial has shown a 100% response rate. Read the full story here.
Recently, the FDA Advisory Committee supported expanding the clinical trial to more patients based on the data from the trial.
The Diaz/Cercek lab has focused on rectal cancer where standard treatment options are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. While these treatments might save a patient, they have significant quality-of-life effects and often present the need for ongoing care.
This trial is genetically dependent and focused on advanced rectal cancer. Dr. Diaz and Dr. Cercek envision the immunotherapy being offered to patients with other cancer types who meet the genetic profile. Proceeds from the Long Island Sound and Nassau/Suffolk – Sound to Cove charity swims continue to help fund the ongoing research and clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Swim Across America has a proven track record of identifying and funding early-stage ideas of promise. Swim Across America grants have played a major role in clinically developing FDA-approved immunotherapy treatments ipilimumab (YERVOY), nivolumab (OPDIVO), pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA), and atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ).
With grant support from Swim Across America–Charlotte, researchers at Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital aim to make progress with the following projects. Since 2017, Swim Across America–Charlotte has awarded more than $750,000 to fund research and education programs at LCI.
Grant Recipient: Greg Knight, M.D.
Project: How Distress and Psychologic Well-Being Affect Outcomes for Patients with Hematologic Malignancies
As the science of cancer treatment in the United States continues to accelerate and treatment becomes more personalized (and expensive), barriers to the implementation of optimal cancer care have been increasingly recognized as major determinants of outcomes. Evidence is emerging that psychosocial stress is impacting care. Such data have led to almost all major professional oncologic organizations, including ASCO, NCCN, and American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, recommending screening for stress as part of routine care. With funding from Swim Across America, Dr. Knight is leading a first of its kind study, exploring the impact of stress in hematologic malignancies, and examine how to alleviate these stressors to improve the outcomes for these patients.
Grant Recipients: Srinivasa Sanikommu, M.D.; Lawrence Druhan, Ph.D.
Project: Effects of Vitamin C in Patients with Leukemia and Myelodysplasia
Vitamin C has long been postulated to have beneficial/and preventative effects in many diseases, but whether and/or how vitamin helps patients with blood cancers is unknown. We have seen in the laboratory that when vitamin C is added to some chemotherapy agents, there is inhibition of cancer cell growth. Thus, if vitamin C is deficient in some patients, it is possible that responses to therapy could be improved by addition of vitamin C. With funding from Swim Across America, Drs. Sanikommu and Druhan are studying how the addition of Vitamin C could improve the outcomes for patients with leukemia and blood cancers, and potentially even prevent the development of these diseases.
Grant Recipient: Brittany Ragon, M.D
Project: Personalized Medicine for the Treatment of Leukemia
In leukemia care, the choice and dosing of therapy can be an empiric exercise; there are increasing data showing that best therapies and best dosing can be predicted using genetics. A new drug called venetoclax (ven) is now part of the standard treatment for upfront treatment in many patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Despite improvements in outcomes for AML patients with venetoclax, the real-world usage of ven is complex, and toxicities leading to dose modifications are common. Using funding from Swim Across America, Dr. Ragon is leading an innovative study to explore candidate gene changes as predictors of response to ventoclax-containing regimens to develop a personalized approach to patient care.
Grant Recipient: Yifan Pang, M.D.
Project: Immune System Functional Monitoring to Improve Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant
Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) can be the cure for many blood diseases. Including adults and children, more than 8,000 HSCTs are performed in the U.S. annually and more than 50,000 world-wide. The success of HSCT is dependent on the reconstitution of the immune system from transplanted cells, which is responsible for controlling infections, preventing transplant rejection, and prevention of disease recurrence. Current methods to monitor immune reconstitution are not good at measuring the global health of the immune system. Therefore, it is critical to identify a reliable marker to comprehensively measure post-HSCT immune reconstitution to prevent complications and improve outcomes. With funding from Swim Across America, Dr. Yifan Pang will lead a project aimed at the development of a novel method to measure immune reconstitution after HSCT using cutting-edge next generation sequences methods.
Swim Across America (SAA) is proud to announce a partnership with Gill, a leading marine apparel brand, for 2023. This year, each Community Champion will receive a SAA-branded Gill Aqua Parka. The Community Champion will be the top individual fundraiser in each city.
Waterproof, windproof and breathable, the Aqua Parka changing robe was engineered for explorers. The parka is intentionally oversized and designed to be loose enough for you to pull your arms inside for changing. It’s perfect for paddle sports and open water swimmers. Available in graphite, eggshell/ash and dark navy/blue jay.
About Swim Across America
Swim Across America, Inc. (SAA) 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 learn more visit swimacrossamerica.org or follow on Facebook @SwimAcrossAmerica or on Instagram or Twitter@SAASwim.
Founded by a desire for better, Gill has been at the forefront of marine apparel for over 45 years. Creating the most technical sailing clothing to protect people from the elements while out on the water. Giving them the confidence to go anywhere, in any condition and accomplish their goals.
Water is what connects us to everything we do. From our beginnings as a brand, to the products we create. It’s always been about empowering people through engineered, technical clothing and equipment so they can experience moments and tell stories of their achievements. Gill’s love of all things water has led them to diversify their product offering in recent years to cater for broader water activities, such as SUP, canoeing, kayaking and open water swimming.
Here are some recent stories that display the impact all the members of the Swim Across America family have had in the Fairfield County community benefiting Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy. If you would like to register, volunteer or donate, please visit swimacrossamerica.org/fairfieldcounty.
Here are some recent stories that display the impact all the members of the Swim Across America family have had in the Larchmont community benefiting Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center and Cancer Support Team. If you would like to register, volunteer or donate, please visit swimacrossamerica.org/longislandsound.
Here are some recent stories that display the impact all the members of the Swim Across America family have had in the Rhode Island community benefiting Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. If you would like to register, volunteer or donate, please visit swimacrossamerica.org/rhodeisland.
Here are some recent stories that display the impact all the members of the Swim Across America family have had in the Seattle community benefiting Seattle Cancer Center Alliance – Fred Hutch. If you would like to register, volunteer or donate, please visit swimacrossamerica.org/seattle.
Here are some recent stories that display the impact all the members of the Swim Across America family have had in the San Francisco community benefiting UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. If you would like to register, volunteer or donate, please visit swimacrossamerica.org/sanfrancisco.