Swim benefits cancer program

Six Olympians will team up with local residents for a 10-mile relay swim in the Bay next month to raise money for a UCSF program that offers assistance to child cancer survivors.

The Sept. 23 “San Francisco Swimming Relay to Fight Cancer” is making its Bay Area debut this year following numerous similar events on the East Coast and in Chicago.

Organizers expect about 100 local swimmers to each raise $2,000 or more, said Janel Jorgensen, Swim Across America’s executive director, a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic swim team and a silver medallist in the 400-meter medley relay.

All proceeds will benefit UCSF Children’s Hospital Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program.

“We pick research centers where our money goes the furthest and is the most appreciated. We are excited to be working with UC San Francisco’s Children’s Hospital in our first event west of the Mississippi,” Jorgensen said.

Participants in the five-hour relay event will each swim about two thirty-minute sessions, organizers said. During the event, scheduled to go from the Golden Gate Bridge to AT&T Park and back to Crissy Field, swimmers will be accompanied by a kayaker at all times.

One of the participants is Dr. Robert Goldsby, the pediatric oncologist who heads the childhood survivor cancer program.

“Part of the program is to educate the survivor and their families,” Goldsby said. “They’ve gone through something that not a lot of people have done.”

Survivorship rates for childhood cancer have increased dramatically in the past 36 years, Goldsby said.

“In 1970, it was almost fatal,” Goldsby said. “Today, 70percent of the kids [survive]. We cure most of them.”

Once the intense treatments are over, the children and their families need to know what the long-term impacts may be. For instance, a youngster may experience lung or heart injuries as a result of chemotherapy, Goldsby said.

During next month’s swimming relay, Goldsby will be joined by Aimee Sznewajs, the survivors program’s clinical coordinator.

Swim Across America is a Boston-based nonprofit organization that has raised more than $15 million toward cancer research. This summer it is hosting 11 events in five major metropolitan areas. The money raised stays in those areas: In Boston the recipient is Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; in New York, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and in Chicago, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Institute.

mcarroll@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Sheriff candidate Paul Miyamoto in a meeting with the Examiner editorial board on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New shelter-in-place order gives tenants a temporary reprieve from eviction

Sheriff’s Department resumed regular enforcement this week for the first time since March

Under stay-at-home orders effective today in San Francisco, outdoor dining is not allowed, and there are new limits regarding the number of people that can be indoors at essential businesses. <ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Bay Area counties to shut down outdoor dining, non-essential businesses

Regional stay-at-home order to take effect Sunday, sooner than statewide order announced Thursday

Former Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant received his 2017-18 Championship ring at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Oct. 16, 2018. Durant, now playing with the Brooklyn Nets, will play against his former team at Chase Center in February. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Kevin Durant to face former teammates at Chase Center in February

Schedule released Friday calls for Warriors to play Christmas and New Year’s Day games

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert’s (31) return from injury last week was key for the team’s offense. <ins>(Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
49ers fighting for final NFC wild-card spot in Monday’s game against the Bills

Bills at 49ers When: Monday, 5:15 p.m. Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale,… Continue reading

The Smashing Pumpkins’ 2020 recording is the 20-song “CYR.” (Courtesy photo)
Billy Corgan continues to confound expectations

Smashing Pumpkins release retro-sounding ‘CYR’

Most Read