Hit the water June 25 to raise money for cancer research.
Nancy Carr and Cristy Fraser, Co-Chairs of SAA-FC
June 25 marks one of the biggest days of the year in the fight to cure cancer.
Each year, Swim Across America Fairfield County (SAA-FC) holds an Open Water Swim to raise money benefiting Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT). Through 2021, swimmers, volunteers, donors and the incredibly hard-working SAA staff have raised an astounding $4.8 million to benefit ACGT with their ongoing efforts in making waves to fight cancer!
This June 25th marks another opportunity to move us a little closer to beating cancer once and for all – the 16th Annual Swim Across America – Fairfield County Open Water Swim. The event is at 96 Cummings Point Road in Stamford, CT. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. (eastern time) and the first swimmers hit the water at 7:35 a.m. in the beautiful Long Island Sound.
“Everyone has someone they know or love who has or is battling cancer,” said Nancy Carr, co-chair of SAA-FC. “It’s a disease that has sadly touched too many of our friends and too many in our community. But through organizations like Swim Across America Fairfield County, we can make a difference and raise funds that go toward life-saving treatments that can change the outcomes of this disease.”
Alec Fraser (Team Julian) and SAA-FC Founder Matt Vossler
There are three distance options for the open water swim: 0.5 miles; 1.5 miles; and 3 miles. There is a minimum fundraising requirement of $500 for swimmers ages 18 and older. Swimmers younger than 18 have a minimum fundraising level of $300.
Swimmers can participate as individuals, start a team or join a team that has already registered. Individuals can also participate virtually in SAA My Way by doing their own activity on their own timeline, helping to contribute to SAA’s goal.
“Our goal this year, as it has been in the last few years, is to raise $500,000,” Nancy said. “It’s a big number, but the last couple years were tough and we have a lot of ground to make up. Cancer did not stop because there was a pandemic.”
Swim Across America Fairfield County has already raised more than $92,000 toward this year’s event. Some of the top fundraising teams so far include: Team Julian; Sportsplex Swim Across America; and Team Elaine. There are also individuals who have eclipsed $6,000 in fundraising so far!
Even if you can’t swim, there are other ways to support SAA-FC and ACGT. You can donate to a swimmer, team, or the event in general on the event website. The Swim also needs volunteers to help run the Open Water Swim. You can be a land volunteer, boater, kayaker or stand-up paddleboarder.
How does funding from Swim Across America help ACGT?
Brian Brown, PhD
Sidi Chen, MD, PhD
Stephen Gottschalk, MD
Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy’s mission is to help develop cell and gene therapies that strengthen the immune system to fight cancer without impacting healthy tissue. ACGT is helping to turn this vision for cancer treatment into a reality by funding brilliant scientists devoted to researching how to develop effective cell and gene therapies for many deadly, difficult-to-treat cancers.
The ultimate goal is to create a cancer-free future, and it’s made more possible thanks to organizations such as Swim Across America contributing to ACGT’s funding of these research programs.
Every year, one or more of ACGT’s Research Fellows are chosen to be funded in part by Swim Across America. Research Fellows currently being supported by Swim Across America include:
2022 Brian Brown, PhD (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center)
2021 Sidi Chen, MD, PhD (Yale University School of Medicine) 2020 Stephen Gottschalk, MD (St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital)
Drs. Brown, Chen and Gottschalk are all working to develop cancer gene therapies in lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and pediatric sarcomas, respectively.
Over the last 15 years, ACGT Research Fellows funded by Swim Across America include: Noriyuki Kasahara, MD, PhD (University of California, San Francisco); Khalid Shah, PhD, MSc (Harvard Medical School); Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD (University of California, San Diego); Arnob Banerjee, MD, PhD (University of Maryland School); John Bell, PhD (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute); Fan Yang, PhD (Stanford University); Samuel Katz, MD, PhD (Yale University School of Medicine); Crystal Mackall, MD (Stanford University); and Greg Delgoffe, PhD (University of Pittsburgh).
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