Swim Across America Nantucket Honored to Extend Support to Mass General Cancer Center

Mass General Cancer Center Joins the Swim’s Other Beneficiaries Nantucket Cottage Hospital Oncology Program and Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket.

NANTUCKET, Mass., April 26, 2023 – Swim Across America Nantucket is pleased to announce that Mass General Cancer Center will join Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s Oncology Program and Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket as a beneficiary of the Swim Across America Nantucket Open Water Swim event. The Swim Across America Nantucket open water swim has been held each Summer since 2012 and makes waves in the fight against cancer. This year’s event will be Saturday, July 22, 2023. 

In addition to continuing to support the two local beneficiaries, Mass General will provide a research component to the list of services supported by Swim Across America Nantucket’s annual fundraising event.  Dr. Bryan Choi, MD, PhD, is an attending neurosurgeon in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology at Mass General. He specializes in surgical care for patients with benign and malignant brain tumors. During his neurosurgery residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, he pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Marcela Maus, focused on developing CAR T-cell therapies for cancer. He also leads a research laboratory with the goal of developing the next generation of cell therapies and clinical trials in neuro-oncology.

“We are very honored to have the opportunity to support Dr. Choi in his work in CAR T-cell therapies,” said Jim Pignato, co-event director of Swim Across America Nantucket.  “Adding a funding arm with a research component has been something we’ve been exploring. Teaming up with Dr. Choi and Mass General Cancer Care is a natural fit.”

“Dr. Choi’s work is groundbreaking and holds the potential to shift the paradigm of treatment for an otherwise devastating disease,” said Keith Erickson, director of development at Mass General Hospital.

“Our vision is to continue to help serve the Nantucket patient, from diagnosis through treatment, while also offering this very important research component, that will help all patients, not only those on Nantucket”, said Jill Roethke, co-event director of Swim Across America Nantucket.

This announcement comes on the heels of a banner 10th year for Swim Across America Nantucket, where more than $600,000 was raised for on-island cancer services and patient care in 2022. 

Swim Across America was founded in 1987 with its first open water event in Long Island Sound. Since that time, the nonprofit organization has raised more than $100 million to fight cancer. In its 36 years of “making waves to fight cancer,” more than 100,000 swimmers and 150 Olympians have swum the circumference of the earth three times, uniting a movement to fight cancer that has created a groundswell of support spanning all generations. Today, more than 24 communities hold open water swims and charity pool swims each year, from Nantucket to under the Golden Gate Bridge, which support innovative cancer research, detection and patient programs. 

Swim Across America’s funding of clinical trials for patients helped contribute to four FDA approved life-saving immunotherapy cancer treatments: Yervoy, Opdivo, Tecentriq and Keytruda. More than 60 scientific grants are funded each year and there are now ten dedicated Swim Across America Labs at major institutions including: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, John Hopkins Medicine Baltimore, Rush University Medical Center Chicago, Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, Infusion Center at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Lounge at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and San Francisco, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

To register to swim, volunteer or donate, please visit www.swimacrossamerica.org/nantucket.  Instagram: @saanantucket  Facebook: @saanantucket.Swim Across America Nantucket

About Swim Across America Nantucket:

Since 2012, Swim Across America Nantucket has raised more than $4 million for its beneficiaries: Nantucket Cottage Hospital and Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket.  Each year Swim Across America Nantucket is proud to host more than 400 swimmers and volunteers, spectators and supporters, as well as Olympians near and far at the charity swim. This year’s swim will take place on Saturday July 22, 2023, at Jetties Beach on the island of Nantucket.  

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