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Olympic Swimmers and Cancer Survivors Team Up to Make Waves in Lake Washington for Swim Across America

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08-08-2013 Olympic Swimmers and Cancer Survivors Make Waves in Lake Washington for Swim Across America (72kb)
Olympic Swimmers and Cancer Survivors Team Up to Make Waves in Lake Washington for Swim Across America
The Fifth-Annual Swim Across America – Seattle Open Water Swim Will Take Place Saturday, September 7

SEATTLE – August 8, 2013 – Swim Across America (SAA), a non-profit dedicated to raising money for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events, today announced its fifth-annual Swim Across America – Seattle Open Water Swim. The charity event will take place Saturday, September 7, and is a rare opportunity for Seattle-area swimmers to help in the fight against cancer by taking the plunge into Lake Washington alongside past members of the US Olympic Swim Team, including local Olympians Ariana Kukors, Mary Wayte Bradburn, Rick Colella, Emily Silver, Dana Kirk, and Margaret Hoelzer. All proceeds raised from the Swim Across America event will benefit Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) and its mission to turn cancer patients into cancer survivors. Swimmers of all skill levels are invited to participate in the two-mile or half-mile swims, as well as a 50-meter freestyle open-water Kids’ Splash.

The  two-mile swim begins at Mercer Island’s Mercerwood Shore Club (8 a.m. start) and the half-mile swim begins at Luther Burbank Park’s swim beach (8:30 a.m.), also on Mercer Island, where both will finish. The Kids’ Splash will follow the finish of the longer swims. All participants and volunteers are invited to a post-swim celebration and award ceremony at the swim beach, featuring a pancake breakfast, refreshments and DJ entertainment. 

Interested swimmers and volunteers can learn more and register at www.swimacrossamerica.org/seattle. Each adult swimmer is responsible for a registration fee of $50, which applies toward a minimum fundraising requirement of $300. Swimmers may form teams in honor or memory of someone who has battled cancer. In 2012, 303 swimmers and 165 volunteers raised more than $235,000 for SCCA.

 “Swim Across America - Seattle has quickly become a signature event for swimmers from the Seattle area and beyond, generating much-needed funding for cancer research, prevention and treatment,” said Janel Jorgensen McArdle, a 1988 Olympic silver medalist and CEO & President of Swim Across America. “We are thrilled to again direct all event proceeds to our partners at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a very worthy organization that shares our commitment to the fight against cancer.”

SCCA unites the adult and pediatric cancer-care programs of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s. Contributions from this year’s event support research and treatment for pancreatic cancer patients, as well as research performed in the Cellular Therapy Laboratory, responsible for valuable cellular therapy products key to the advanced treatment of blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma.
“We are thrilled to partner with Swim Across America in uniting elite swimmers, cancer survivors and the community to raise awareness and funding for the important work that SCCA does every day in the fight against cancer,” said Norm Hubbard, Executive Vice President of SCCA.  “This has become a powerful annual event and we are grateful to be involved.” 
To help area swimmers prepare, Swim Across America has partnered with Michael Phelps Swimming (MPS) to offer two training courses on August 17 and 18, in Bellevue and Mercer Island, respectively.  Each three-hour class will provide an overview of the specific swim courses, along with instruction on open-water swimming considerations including breath control in dynamic water, stroke efficiency and handling open water emergencies such as fatigue and cramping. To sign up or learn more, interested swimmers can visit www.swimacrossamerica.org/breakowt. Taught by top MPS trainers, each course is limited to 25 participants. 
In the past 25 years, Swim Across America has raised more than $45 million for the nation’s top cancer institutions, involving current and former Olympians and thousands of swimmers and volunteers. Nationally, the participation of Olympic athletes has been a regular feature in SAA events, representing Olympians from the Berlin Games in 1936 to London in 2012 and countless World, Olympic, American, and NCAA Records and medals. 

About Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) is a cancer treatment center that unites doctors from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s. Our goal, every day, is to turn cancer patients into cancer survivors. Our purpose is to lead the world in the prevention and treatment of cancer. SCCA has five clinical care sites: an outpatient clinic on the Hutchinson Center campus, a pediatric inpatient unit at Seattle Children’s, an adult inpatient unit at UW Medical Center, a medical oncology clinic at Halvorson Cancer Care, and a radiation oncology clinic at UW Medicine / Northwest Hospital.  Additionally, proton therapy services are provided at SCCA Proton Therapy, A Procure Center. For more information about SCCA, visit www.seattlecca.org.
Mark S. Peterson
Pointer PR LLC/Swim Across America     
Stephany Rochon
Nyhus Communications for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance