Friday, August 19, 2016

7 Years….Why I Swim…and work for Swim Across America

     It has been a very long time since I posted on this blog, but since tomorrow is an anniversary for me, I decided it was time.   So here goes:

     Tomorrow, I will “celebrate” seven years since my last surgery for neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer.  It is also 18 years since a tumor in my lung was removed, and 39 years since I underwent a 10 ½ hour surgery for vaginal cancer when I was just 21 years old. That is why I swim.  I swim because I can, and because so many others cannot.  I swim because I am one of the lucky ones who has benefitted from extraordinary research and great medical care which have both saved my life each time I had cancer.  I swim because I am so fortunate to have made it through 3 different cancers, 8 major surgeries and way too many hospitalizations to even count, and I have come out the other side.  I swim because just 7 years ago I spent 23 days at Stanford Hospital, unable to eat, and thought I would never swim or do anything ever again.  That’s why I swim and why I work tirelessly for an organization I love, Swim Across America.  As the SF Bay Area Co-Event Director, my goal is to help fund the scientists and physicians here in the Bay Area who are working so hard find a cure and to hopefully, one day, cure all children diagnosed with a pediatric cancer. I want to help bridge the gap between NIH funding and what is really needed. I swim for so many people who have suffered from and died of cancer.  There are far too many to name, and I swim in their honor and in their memory.  I work for Swim Across America because it is my small way of giving something back to the universe because for whatever reason, I am one of the lucky ones.  In my own small way, I hope to inspire, motivate and encourage others to keep trying and to keep going even when it seems hopeless.  In my lifetime, I have personally seen how far we have progressed in cancer treatment, and I am proud to contribute in any way possible to the goal of successfully curing all children diagnosed with this dreaded disease.  It is the least I can do. Oh, one more thing.  I swim because I love to swim!

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