A group of volunteers gathered on the Long Island shore to swim for a cause. The weather didn’t stop swimmers of all ages and abilities from raising money for local cancer-based beneficiaries. 

Swimming for a Cure 

Kids and adults dove into the cool waters at Pryibil Beach on July 30, raising money for facilities like the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Many volunteers had experienced cancer or witnessed a loved one’s fight against the disease. 

Nearly 1.9 million people are expected to face a cancer diagnosis in the United States each year, and more than 600,000 will succumb to it. Research is necessary to find cures that preserve the lives of patients living with terrible diseases. 

There are advancements in the field of cancer research every day. New technology allows for earlier diagnoses, which can increase survival rates. 

Research helps scientists and medical teams identify risk factors for various types of cancer and devise preventive and management plans. Doctors can cater new treatments to individual patients and target cancer cells more specifically than ever. However, the world still has a long way to go to prevent severe illness and death from cancer. 

On Long Island, teams raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to work towards cures. Since its beginning a decade ago, Pryibil Beach gatherers have raised more than $12 million. 

Swim Across America 

The event was part of the annual Swim Across America events throughout the United States to raise money and awareness for preventing, treating and researching different cancers. 

The organization began thanks to the inspiration of Jeff Keith’s Run Across America. Participant Matt Vossler wanted to find more ways to raise money to fight cancer. He began a series of charity swims that evolved into Swim Across America. Originally only in the Northeast, the organization expanded its swims nationwide. 

SAA hopes to compensate for the 25% cut in federal investigative research and clinical trials funding. It aims to be transparent with its finances, offering its tax returns and audited financials online for anyone to see. It is certified by the Better Business Bureau’s Giving Wise Alliance and received the highest ratings on Guidestar and Charity Navigator. 

Unlike some national organizations, SAA sends the money raised for each event to local organizations fighting the disease. An academic or research hospital often serves as a main beneficiary. 

The charity provides grants to up-and-coming researchers, oncologists and medical students. It also supports personalized medicine, gene sequencing, cancer detection, immunotherapy advancements and patient support programs. 

Making Waves in the Fight Against Cancer 

Swim Across America hosts numerous open swim events each year, and more than 80 pool events and many more are in the works. The organization continues to grow yearly, hoping to get annual events in every state. 

Swimmers who attend the event can choose from various distances based on their skill and ability. They can also do SAA My Way, which lets people participate virtually if they cannot in person. Each participant has a fundraising goal and can team up with others to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients. 

Each event begins with an opening ceremony and safety talk to encourage everyone to use their best judgment, whether having fun or challenging themselves in the water. They are often high energy with the passion for being in the water and defeating cancer, colliding into an amazing experience for those involved. 

How You Can Help 

There are many ways you can help fight cancer with Swim Across America. You can choose to swim in an event or support someone attending. You can also send funds to the organization through various donation methods and discount programs. If you know someone fighting or passed away from cancer, you can give a gift in their honor or memory. 

If you want to contribute to a specific medical or research organization, you can donate directly to one of the designated beneficiary organizations. 

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About Author

Mia Barnes is a lifestyle and wellness writer and the Editor in Chief at BodyMind.com. When Mia isn't writing, she can usually be found reading, jogging or volunteering at one of her local animal shelters.

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