SAA CELEBRATES RECORD-BREAKING YEAR IN ORLANDO

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Members of the Swim Across America family came together in Orlando at Rosen Plaza for the Champions Against Cancer Summit this October 11-13.

Board Members, Event Directors, Olympians and Oncologists joined the national SAA staff to celebrate a record-breaking 2017 and the $3 million charitable contribution to SAA from Merck.

CHAMPIONS AGAINST CANCER WELCOME RECEPTION

See how many faces you recognize in this fun collection from the reception.

CHAMPIONS AGAINST CANCER SUMMIT

We were honored to have some of the country’s leading oncologists speak as well as plenty of SAA leaders. You can see some of the excitement from the Merck announcement in this album.

Thursday morning presenters included Dr. Taha Mexghoub (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Dr. Paul DiSilvestro (Women & Infants Hospital), Dr. Jeff Borgia (Rush University Medical Center), Dr. Lynda Vrooman (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)

The surprise Merck charitable contribution was celebrated by special Olympian guests Rowdy Gaines, Steve Lundquist, Janel Jorgensen McArdle, Heather Petri, Ryan Berube, Eric Wunderlich, George DiCarlo and Craig Beardsley

The afternoon session featured Dr. Carlos Becerra (Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas), Polona Safaric (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), Dr. Julie Saba, (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco), Dr. Marc Symons (Feinstein Institute of North Shore) and Dr. Jonathan Gerber (Levine Cancer Institute of Carolinas Healthcare System).

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Friday presenters included Dr. Jim Garvin (New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center), Dr. Douglas K. Graham (Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Children and Emory University), Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas (Moffitt Cancer Center), Dr. Damon Reed (Moffitt Cancer Center) and Dr. Richard Garlic (University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital).

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