Emily Crabtree won’t let anything stop her from participating in the annual Swim Across America Chicago fundraiser for cancer research — even her own continuing fight against the disease.
Crabtree, 32, has been battling cancer for 13 years, during which she has undergone more than 18 months of chemotherapy, 35 rounds of radiation treatment and multiple surgeries to clear the disease from her body. She now is going through chemo again to ward off nodules that appeared in her left lung about four years ago, which is why she wasn’t able to swim at last year’s event.
But she still gathered donations and encouraged others to participate in the Chicago swim, including many of her caregivers at Rush. She won't be swimming at this year's event, as her treatment continues, but she is still supporting the effort just as she did last year. “It’s a celebration,” Crabtree says of the Swim Across America Chicago Open Water Swim. “It’s incredibly special to see all these patients and my doctors and nurses come out to the event and support this effort.”