“SAA-LIS’s goal is to prevent future generations from ever being afflicted with this menacing disease.”
The Long Island Sound Swim started in Larchmont, New York in 1992 at the Larchmont Yacht Club with a 4-mile swim, 17 swimmers and $15K raised. It was, and still is, dedicated to the memory of Kathy Webers, who courageously battled cancer for over a year. The core group that started – and continue to lead the swim – Frank Webers, Tony Sibio, Jean Fufidio and Josh and Jeremy Glantz, have all had loved ones directly impacted by cancer and are committed to making a difference in the fight against cancer. “SAA-LIS’s goal is to prevent future generations from ever being afflicted with this menacing disease.”
Frank Webers and his wife Kathy had three daughters – April, May and June. The family was heartbroken by the loss of Kathy to cancer at only 42 years old. Her passing led to the start of the SAA-LIS being established with 17 inaugural swimmers swimming in her honor. Sadly, while cancer skipped a generation, June’s daughter, Jane, was diagnosed with leukemia at just six years old. Jane raised money for SAA-LIS by selling lemonade, and in 2019, her Mom June swam in her honor. The family was comforted in knowing that many of the funds raised through SAA-LIS were going directly to Memorial Sloan Kettering, where Jane was treated. Thankfully, Jane, now nine, is a thriving fourth grader free of cancer.
Tony Sibio, chairman of SAA-LIS, has been involved in the organization since its inception in 1992. His son, Daniel, was diagnosed in 1991 with stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of soft tissue, connective tissue or bone. His tumor was inoperable and spread to both lungs. Daniel, who was only eight-and-a-half years old at the time, was treated at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital where today, SAA-LIS supports cutting-edge research. Thanks to an experimental protocol, Daniel has been in remission for 31 years and is happily married with two beautiful daughters.
Jean Fufidio got involved with Swim Across America after her daughters, Andrea, Michele and Maria pushed their mom, a non swimmer, to take swimming lessons so she could participate in SAA-LIS after their father, George was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2001, the same cancer that had taken his father-in-law. Deeply affected by their father’s illness, George’s daughters, Maria, Michele and Andrea, were determined to make a difference for those with cancer and became involved in SAA-LIS, swimming to raise money for cancer research. SAA-LIS became a family affair with Jean, George, Andrea, Michele and Maria continuing to participate and support something so dear to them. Today Jean is an active SAA-LIS board member, and she continues to swim each year at the NYAC in Pelham to raise funds. George survived his cancer and is a volunteer in the organization.
Jeremy and Josh Glanz coached the swim team at Larchmont Yacht Club for four years. Kathy and Frank Webers and their daughters, April, May, and June, were always so incredibly kind and supportive of them. Josh and Jeremy were heartbroken when Kathy passed away and wanted to do something in her honor so they decided to bring together a few friends to swim across the Sound in Kathy’s memory. They thought it would be a one-time thing, but Frank had other ideas. As they gathered at the Yacht Club after finishing that first swim, Frank gave them a big hug and said, “Next year we are going to do it again but BIGGER!”
This year, Swim Across America-Long Island Sound will celebrate it’s 30th anniversary; 30 years of making an impact and millions raised to further cancer research and clinical trials.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for media inquiries.