Swim Across America Receives Additional $2 Million Donation from Merck to Accelerate Cancer Research

July 31, 2019— Swim Across America announces that Merck is making a $2 million charitable contribution to the non-profit. Merck’s support of Swim Across America now totals $5 million including a $3 million charitable donation announced in 2017. The contributions allow Swim Across America to further expand its charity swim program to raise more funds for cancer research.

For more than three decades, Swim Across America has been funding immunotherapy research and clinical trials, and Swim Across America’s grants have played a major role in bringing new treatments for those fighting cancer. In 2018, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded for work in advancing immunotherapy. The Swim Across America Research Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering has been part of the collaboration that lead to the development of immunotherapy.

“Everyone wants to hear the three words ‘I love you’,” commented Rob Butcher, Swim Across America CEO. “No one wants to hear the three words ‘you have cancer’, but if you do, you want to hear these three words ‘there is hope.’ And for three decades, Swim Across America’s charity program has provided an opportunity for survivors, caregivers and loved ones to get involved, feel empowered and provided hope. Merck’s contributions will allow us to grow our charity swims into more communities to support even more oncology research.”

TeamMerck-SAA LowResImage
Volunteering is the new happy hour. Merck employees celebrate a $2 million donation to Swim Across America to create more charity swims that will fund cancer research.

“Hundreds of Merck employees and their families have proudly supported Swim Across America, participating in charity swims, raising funds, and volunteering as Team Merck across the country,” said Jill DeSimone, SVP, oncology, Merck. “We’re thrilled to continue our support by providing additional funds to help Swim Across America create more opportunities for cancer researchers to fight this deadly disease.”

Swim Across America hosts 20 signature charity swims in communities including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. In each community, the charity swim is partnered with a local cancer hospital. The proceeds from each charity swim—typically in the $200-500K range—are then granted to fund cancer research and clinical trials at the hospital so oncologists can pioneer new advances.

More than 100 Olympians have donated their time to Swim Across America and more than 25,000 participants (youth, adult, survivors, caregivers) support Swim Across America charity swims each year. Participant donations and corporate philanthropic partners have helped Swim Across America grow to nearly $10 million annually to fight cancer.

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