35 Stories of Impact: Denton & Wilson Families of SAA-St. Louis

Denton Family & Wilson Family
Swim Across America – St. Louis

5 years with Swim Across America
Bill 63; Raised over $31,900 across all events
Kathy 48; Walter 52; Raised over $30,500 across all events

“This year, SAA St. Louis will surpass $1,000,000 raised for cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center. We are committed to Swim Across America to provide hope for those impacted by cancer.”

St. Louis Swim Across America event directors each came to the swim in different, yet similar ways. 

In 2016, Kathy and Walter Denton helped start Swim Across America-St. Louis. Five years prior, Walter had swam in the SAA-Dallas event after losing his father to leukemia. Both Kathy and Walter enjoyed the event experience and thought it would be a great idea for someone to bring SAA to St. Louis. After Walter was diagnosed with sarcoma, Kathy’s motivation to turn her thoughts into reality kicked into high gear and she founded the SAA St. Louis event in 2016. Walter’s cancer story includes multiple surgeries, clinical trials, chemotherapy (three different times), radiation, cryoablation, a stem cell transplant, and a recurrence while also battling multiple infections and spending more than 100 days in the hospital. Today, Walter’s disease is stable and he attributes that to his faith, committed doctors, continued swimming, and Keytruda — an immunotherapy drug that was originally funded by SAA.

Bill and Denise Wilson got involved with Swim Across America-St. Louis due to Bill’s love for swimming and his desire to contribute toward this important cause. But the cause became much more personal two years later, when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. “All of a sudden, I was being treated at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, our beneficiary, and I myself became a beneficiary of the research SAA supports, undergoing treatment with an immunotherapy drug developed with help from seed money raised by SAA.”  

The two couples have become a powerhouse leading Swim Across America – St. Louis. Both families have seen first hand the importance of Swim Across America as both Bill and Walter were treated with Keytruda, an SAA funded immunotherapy drug. Both families have spent time at the beneficiary, Siteman Cancer Institute and know the great work being done there.

“This year, SAA St. Louis will surpass $1,000,000 raised for cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center. We are committed to Swim Across America to provide hope for those impacted by cancer.”

Swim Across America is celebrating 35 years of impact in 2022. SAA has raised $100 million since its inception in 1987 to support cancer research and clinical trials across the U.S. Please contact Jeni Howard at jhoward@jhowardpr.com for media inquiries.

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