SAA FAMILY TREE (2017 RECAP)

SAA Family Tree is a monthly focus on stories that display the impact all the members of the Swim Across America family have both locally and nationally. If you have a story or link you’d like to share, please send here.

SAA – Atlanta

SAA – Charlotte

  • Spectrum News had all the video highlights of the inaugural SAA-Charlotte featuring Levine Cancer Institute’s Dr. Jonathan Gerber and Queens University swimmer and cancer survivor Alex Marshall.
  • Patty Waldron and her team of Masters Swimmers go ‘out of the box’ to raise money for Levine Cancer Center.

SAA – San Francisco Bay Area

  • 3-year old Seth Lurie is battling rhabdomyosarcoma. Seth and his dad came to SAA – San Francisco and this is what he thinks of cancer.

SAA – Baltimore

  • Emma and Sammy Rocks of Team Rock On joined Wyatt Eberhart on Midday Maryland!

 

SAA – St. Louis

  • John Traube was the top fundraiser with over $26K raised for SAA – St. Louis. Find out why his story is such an inspiration to us at SAA!

SAA – Rhode Island

  • Olympian Elizabeth Beisel joined the Rhode Island swim this year and made a big splash with all the college swimmers and hospital patients alike!

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SAA – Dallas

SAA – Seattle

  • Another big splash for SAA – Seattle as featured by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

SAA EVENT DIRECTORS ARE AWE-INSPIRING

Each Swim Across America Event Director is inspiring in their own way. It’s incredible to see the hard work of a couple get widespread recognition this month. We can’t think of a better group to feature. Don’t forget to thank your local Event Director today and sign up to volunteer to help!

SUSAN HELMRICH – SAA – SAN FRANCISCO BAY

KITTY TETREAULT – SAA – BOSTON/SAA – RHODE ISLAND

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ARTICLE FROM MASSGENERAL HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN

SAA Funding Contributes to FDA Approval of KEYTRUDA

For the first time, the FDA has approved a drug—KEYTRUDA—for cancer-based disease genetics rather than the site of a tumor. KEYTRUDA now can be used for colon, pancreatic, stomach, ovarian and other cancers if genetic testing reveals defects in so-called mismatch repair. The clinical trials for KEYTRUDA were conducted at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute. The testimonial letter from Johns Hopkins acknowledges that in 2009, Swim Across America was the first organization to believe in the KEYTRUDA research project and provide grant funding for KEYTRUDA clinical trials. In total, over $2.6 million in proceeds from SAA—Baltimore have funded clinical trials and lifesaving research at Johns Hopkins.
Merck issued a press release quoting Swim Across America for providing grant funding for KEYTRUDA clinical trials that helped lead to FDA approval:
“Swim Across America’s mission is to help advance cancer research,” said Rob Butcher, CEO of Swim Across America. “We are honored that our organization supported some of the initial research conducted by Dr. Diaz and team, which has now contributed to the approval of KEYTRUDA for this new indication.”
As a Swim Across America supporter, it’s important you know the impact of our cause. Testimonials from our beneficiaries are published and we encourage you share them with your supporters.
 
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Dr. Luis Diaz at SAA – Baltimore Open Water Swim

SAA – Atlanta Beneficiary Publishes Ewing Sarcoma Research

Published research leads to sharing of information which can lead to new cures to fight cancer. Swim Across America – Atlanta beneficiary researcher Dr. Thomas Cash gives credit to Swim Across America for funding his research on the correlation of Ezrin Expression Pattern and Clinical Outcomes in Ewing Sarcoma.

The authors acknowledge the Emory + Children’s Pediatric Research Biostatistics Core for their assistance with this manuscript. Research support was provided by Swim Across America and the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation/Scott Shockley Family.

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25 Years of SAA – Long Island Sound History

2017 will mark SAA – Long Island Sound’s 25th year raising money to fight cancer through research, as well as provide for those who are going through treatment. We give thanks to all of you who have partnered with us throughout the years to make this event such a success. Below is a compilation of all historical photos, videos and flyers. We hope you’ll join us again this year to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. All historical photo albums can be found here.

2009:

2010:

2011:

2012:

2013:

2014:

2015:

2016:

 

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2017 Captain’s Dinner Kickoff

Research from SAA-Baltimore beneficiary Johns Hopkins recognized

When Johns Hopkins scientists Bert Vogelstein, Ken Kinzler, Luis Diaz and their colleagues linked certain cancers to mutations in genes that repair DNA, they may not have imagined that their findings would spark an idea that has become a crystal ball for predicting whether immunotherapy is more likely to work in a person with cancer. The $3 million in grant funding over the last decade from Swim Across America – Baltimore has played a major role in funding their idea of “mismatch repair” so more families can have hope.

Now, their work is being featured in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Clinical Advances 2017 and you can read more about the accomplishments here and watch the patient perspective below.

Supporting Promising Trials in Seattle

The following was shared by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

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SAA – Seattle Volunteers and Participants visit the Swim Across America-Cellular Therapy Lab at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

In the past few years, immunotherapy has produced unprecedented breakthroughs in cancer research. SCCA’s Swim Across America Cell Therapy Laboratory (SAA-CTL) is at the leading edge of this work and SAA-Seattle funding has been critical in supporting the clinical trials that bring this research to patients. SAA-Seattle grants allow us to train technologists in the theory and practice of complex cell processing methods and helps provide sophisticated instrumentation required for these methods. An example of our SAA-Seattle funded research is the Chimeric Antigen T Cell Receptor (CAR T) immunotherapy, which involves selecting and genetically modifying certain lymphocytes to be able to recognize and kill tumor cells. In 2014, SAA-Seattle grants enabled us to initiate the first CAR T clinical trial at SCCA. This trial has produced remarkable results: the complete remission (CR) rate in refractory (unresponsive to other therapies) B Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia was 94% and the CR rate in refractory Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was 64%. This profound success allowed additional patients to be treated, including 35 new patients in 2016. Three more trials using similar technology are beginning in 2017.

SAA-Seattle has played a vital role in supporting groundbreaking research at SCCA. Thanks to SAA-Seattle funding, we have become a center of excellence for selecting particular cells that contribute to an “anti-cancer” effect while removing the other cells (naïve T lymphocytes) that can cause graft vs host disease. This concept has been a sort of holy grail for the treatment of hematological malignancies (certain types of leukemia) through transplantation and trials supported by SAA-Seattle funds have shown extraordinary results. These naïve T cell depletion and CAR T study results have been published in top tier journals.

We hope you’ll join us this September 9th at the 2017 SAA – Seattle open water swim to ‘Make Waves to Fight Cancer.’