(CHICAGO) — Swim Across America (SAA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming events across the country, will host its 20th annual Chicago open-water swim event Saturday, Aug. 4, at Ohio Street Beach in Chicago.
The fundraiser benefits the Rush University Cancer Center, which comprises all of the clinical, research and educational efforts at Rush University Medical Center. The Chicago swim aims to raise $250,000 through the participation of 350 swimmers, including former Olympians.
"What Swim Across America has achieved in Chicago and around the country is incredible,” said David McClellan, SAA Chicago event chair. “We always set our sights high, but we expect a record-breaking 2012 event in hopes of funding groundbreaking cancer research at Rush.”
McClellan expects more than 10 former Olympians to swim in the event, including SAA president Janel Jorgensen McArdle, a silver medalist at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Jamie Rauch, a silver medalist at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, and Craig Beardsley, a 1980 Summer Olympian and former world-record holder in the men’s 200-meter butterfly.
Swimmers must raise a minimum of $500 in order to participate in the ½-mile, 1-mile, 1.5-mile or 3-mile course. They may swim individually or as part of a team to honor friends and family who have been touched by cancer.
In SAA’s 25th anniversary year, Chicago joins cities such as Boston, Dallas and San Francisco, along with the New York metropolitan area, in hosting swim events. SAA events have raised more than $40 million for cancer research nationwide. Money raised at each event benefits the host location, giving swimmers an opportunity to directly impact their communities.
The Rush University Cancer Center fosters research across four broad programs that aim to deepen our understanding of cancer in order to better prevent, detect and treat it. These programs include cancer biology; clinical, behavioral and translational research; molecular signatures and cancer outcomes; and tumor immunology. Rush researchers have been involved with the evaluation of the first vaccine to show benefits in the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma as well as clinical trials that led to the approval of a drug to treat metastatic breast cancer. Physicians at Rush have also helped bring new drugs to the market to treat cancers that affect blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes.
“We are excited to partner with Swim Across America to benefit not only cancer patients but also our ongoing research, which is so critical,” said Dr. Howard Kaufman, director of the Rush University Cancer Center. “The money raised through this event will provide hope for future treatments.”
To register for the swim or make a donation, visit www.swimacrossamerica.org/chicago.
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About Rush University Medical Center
Rush is a not-for-profit academic medical center comprising Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush Health.
Rush’s mission is to provide the best possible care for its patients. Educating tomorrow’s health care professional, researching new and more advanced treatment options, transforming its facilities and investing in new technologies—all are undertaken with the drive to improve patient care now, and for the future.
About Swim Across America
Swim Across America, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to raising money for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide, and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping to find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.