Fun and Inspiration at SMAC Out Cancer

The fourth annual SMAC Out Cancer Pool Swim was another great success, raising over $84K and counting at the San Mateo Athletic. This year’s swim featured 11 fun events, seven Olympians, and honored multiple heroes in the fight against cancer.

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The four-year total raised by SMAC Out Cancer stands at an incredible $296K to fund cancer research at beneficiaries UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Congrats to event director Diana Thomas for putting together another great event this year.

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The 2016 swim was named in memory of Jim Keller, who lost his battle with cancer in January. Keller was regarded as a brilliant and caring man that was a huge supporter of the San Mateo Athletic Club. He’s pictured here with Olympian Heather Petri in 2015.

The impact of the event was evident when the Olympians got to meet Wills Levy, a young hero that saved his brother’s life with a bone marrow transplant. The incredible and moving story of his younger brother Andrew’s battle with a rare and deadly cancer and unlikely recovery is featured in this emotional New York Times Magazine article. Olympians at the event included: Craig Beardsley, Mike Bruner, Susan Heon Preston, Roque Santos, Glenn Mills, Ellen Estes and Christine Magnuson.

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Wills Levy (center) with Olympians at SMAC

The event features fun events not usually associated with SAA pool swims including an aqua aerobics boot camp, and out-of-water fitness challenge and a dance party. Check out the whole photo library to see all the breathtaking images from the event. If you’re interested in starting a pool swim in your community, learn more here.

Pool Swims Across America

In Pool Swims Across America, we feature local pool swims that raise awareness for cancer research. If you’re interested in getting your local swim team or pool involved, learn more here.

The Cheshire Pool Swim to Fight Cancer raised $6,400 on April 23 in Cheshire, CT. A big round of applause for high school junior Kevin Erickson for organizing and to the members of the Yale men’s swim team for coming by to participate in the great cause. Great work by everyone that came out to Cheshire Community Pool to make waves to defeat cancer!

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The inaugural Belleair Country Club Pool Swim took place on May 1 at Belleair Country Club in Belleair, Fl. The BCC Breakers did a great job hitting their fundraising goal in their first year, raising $4,030 to contribute to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa!

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SAA Lab Doctor speaks to Montclair Pool Swim Students

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The 3rd Annual Swim to Win Against Cancer Pool Swim took place earlier this year in Montclair, N.J., featuring student-athletes from Montclair High School and Newark Academy.

The students participating in the annual swim challenge were lucky enough to meet and participate in a Q&A session with Dr. Taha Merghoub, visiting from an SAA beneficiary, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Merghoub is also the Co- Director of the Ludwig Collaborative and Swim Across America Lab at MSK. Sarah Dillon Soden, Associate Director, Annual Giving at MSK also spoke at the event.

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Dr. Taha Merghoub of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

The students learned how the nearly $50,000 they’ve raised over the last three years at their pool swim challenge has helped fund the SAA Lab where Dr. Merghoub investigates the pathogenesis and treatment of melanoma.

A special thanks goes out to Montclair High School Swim Coach Ed Koenigsfest and Newark Academy Swim Coach Billy Blomn for supporting SAA and creating a great pool swim challenge where the competition focuses on a common goal.

Learn more about starting an SAA Pool Swim in your community here.