On Saturday, Sept. 10, hundreds of swimmers, volunteers, and boaters will be diving into the water of Lake Sammamish to help raise money for cancer research with Swim Across America Seattle.
In its 14th year in the Seattle area, Swim Across America has raised more than $4.2 million for its local beneficiary the Fred Hutch Cancer Center. This year is no different, except the swim is in a new location at Lake Sammamish. Those interested in swimming or volunteering can register at swimacrossamerica.org/seattle.
For many participants, swimming in the annual Swim Across America open water swim is a family tradition. It has been for the Ries-Day family since the very first Seattle swim in 2009. David Day and his wife Martha Ries first got involved with Swim Across America Seattle by raising funds for cancer research and for others who were impacted by cancer.
Sadly in 2015, their participation in Swim Across America Seattle became more personal when Martha was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Martha worked to treat herself with diets, exercise, sleep, two rounds of chemo, surgeries and clinical trials, but sadly passed away in late May 2016. After her passing Team Martha Ries was formed. Twelve years later, David and Team Martha Ries will swim in Swim Across America Seattle open water swim.
Ries has continued to be a big part of Swim Across America Seattle as one of the co-event directors for the swim and as captain of Team Martha Ries, which has raised more than $227,000 in its 12 years. When Martha passed, it changed the Day family’s world.
“This was quite devastating and life-changing for me, our two children, and all our friends and relatives,” noted David Day. “We are not the only ones impacted by cancer, and our resolve to carry on to discover treatments and fight cancer are ever more empowered.”
Founded in 1987 and celebrating 35 years of charity, Swim Across America is a national nonprofit organization that holds 25 open water swims across the country, from Boston to under the Golden Gate Bridge.
More than 60 scientific grants are funded each year by Swim Across America and there are ten dedicated Swim Across America Labs at major institutions including: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, John Hopkins Medicine Baltimore, Rush University Medical Center Chicago, Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, Nantucket Cottage Hospital, Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket, Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Lounge at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and San Francisco and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
To learn more about Swim Across America Seattle Open Water Swim or to register to swim, volunteer or donate for the September 10th open water swim, visit swimacrossamerica.org/seattle.