SEATTLE — December 8, 2016 — Swim Across America (SAA), a non-profit dedicated to raising money for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events, presented a check to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) this week totaling $425,000. Funds raised during the SAA’s eighth annual Seattle Open Water Swim, which surpassed prior records, will benefit SCCA’s Swim Across America Cellular Therapy Lab, as well as pancreatic cancer research.
“This year’s event surpassed our wildest dreams in terms of helping patients battling cancer,” said Scott Whelan, co-event director of Swim Across America. We set a goal of $276,000 and were astounded at how many swimmers and volunteers stepped forward to help us exceed that goal.”
Seattle Swim Across America took place on September 10 at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island. Swimmers had the choice of completing a two-mile, one-mile or half-mile swim in Lake Washington, alongside multiple Olympians. The event drew swimmers of all levels, participants of all ages, Olympians, volunteers, cancer survivors and physicians/researchers. Among the swimmers was 2016 Olympic medalist Nathan Adrian, who returned home to swim in memory of his friend Matt Benoit who lost his battle with sarcoma earlier this year.
Grants received by physicians and researchers from SCCA have supported and accelerated the development of emerging cancer treatments at SCCA. One example is the support of a vital cell processing step for the very promising CAR-T immunotherapy trials being conducted at SCCA. Another is research conducted by Dr. Venu Pillarisetty, MD, surgical oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance who is studying the nature of the adaptive immune response to pancreatic cancer following treatment. In Seattle, more than $1.5 million has been raised since 2000 by SAA to help advance breakthrough treatments at SCCA.
“Swim Across America provides essential funding for the leading-edge clinical research happening at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and its founding organizations in support of innovative patient treatment,” said Norm Hubbard, executive vice president at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “We are profoundly grateful to the more than 400 swimmers and nearly 100 volunteers who turned out on September 10 to make a difference for our current and future patients and their families.”
The 2017 Swim Across America event will be held at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island on September 9, 2017.
Fred Hutch Media Team