Swimmers raise funds for Loyola cancer research

Swim Across America is a program that raises money and awareness for cancer research through swimming-related events around the country. Here are details from Loyola University Health System about a recent event in Chicago.

More than 200 swimmers recently took to the shores of Lake Michigan for the annual Swim Across America fundraiser. The event raised money for cancer research, prevention and treatment at Loyola University Health System’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center.

“Participants challenged themselves in the water and on dry land, as they raised funds for a worthy cause,” said Swim Across America Event Director Sue Hopkinson. “This event brought the total funds raised for Loyola through Swim Across America events to approximately $1 million.”

Four-time cancer survivor Phil Dodson received the top award for raising nearly $13,000. Dodson was followed by 20-year-old Caitlin Garvey who raised more than $8,000 in honor of her mother, Denise Garvey, who had been a patient at Loyola until she lost her decade-long battle with breast cancer in 2008.

“My mom was my biggest fan when I swam for the Oak Park River Forest High School team, so this swim was something that I wanted to do in her honor,” Garvey said. “The training and fundraising were hard work, but it was nothing compared to the battle that people with cancer face every day.”

Eighteen teams participated in the swim, including two from Loyola University Health System. The Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine team was led by team captain and fourth-year medical and doctoral student Aleah Brubaker. The team raised $3,812. The Loyola University Health System Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center Team was led by captain and Loyola research nurse Ann Lau Clark. The team raised $4,442. Swimmers were greeted at the beach by Olympians Craig Oppel, David Sims, Steve Gregg and Janel Jorgensen.

Swim Across America raises money and awareness for cancer research through swimming-related events around the country. All funds from the annual Chicago swim go to Loyola’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, the first free-standing facility in Illinois dedicated to cancer research, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The center contains all outpatient cancer care, along with extensive research laboratories, offices and educational space.

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