16th Annual Swim Across America Fairfield County Open Water Swim Scheduled for June 25, 2022
Swim Across America Fairfield County is #makingwaves to #fightcancer! Celebrating its 16th year in Fairfield County, this year’s swim will be held Saturday, June 25, 2022.
The swim takes place in Stamford in the waters of Long Island Sound at the headquarters of the Swim’s local beneficiary, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy. There are three different swim distances available: a half-mile, one-and-a-half mile and a three mile swim. Boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders and land volunteers participate in this inspirational event with close to 300 swimmers and 100 volunteers. To register as a swimmer or a volunteer, visit swimacrossamerica.org/fc.
Why does Swim Across America Fairfield County swim to raise money in the fight against cancer? Cancer sadly touches everyone — whether it is a loved one or a friend, everyone knows someone who has been impacted by cancer.
In 2022, it is estimated that 1.9 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed and there will be 609,360 cancer deaths in the U.S. These staggering statistics offer compelling proof of the need to continue devising new approaches to treatment. Whether it is through swimming, volunteering, donating or cheering on loved ones and friends, Swim Across America Fairfield County welcomes anyone and everyone who wants to be a part of the fight against cancer.
Funds raised by Swim Across America Fairfield County go directly to support scientific cancer gene therapy grants administered by the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy. Swim Across America Fairfield County has raised $4.7 million over the past 15 years. This year’s Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy research fellow funded by Swim Across America Fairfield County is Brian Brown, PhD., professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and associate director of the Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York, New York). Dr. Brown’s research is working to identify the factors that control immunity and tolerance, and translate these findings into strategies that can be used to turn the immune system against cancer or viruses, working toward a potential breakthrough in the fight against solid tumors. Despite some amazing successes, not all patients respond to current immunotherapies and Dr. Brown thinks he and his team have identified a cell type responsible for poor responses.
“The Swim Across America Fairfield County open water swim is such an inspiring event,” said Cristy Fraser, co-chair of the open water swim. “The gathering of so many families and so many individuals who are honoring those who are special to them is incredible — whether they are currently battling it out, or survivors or have lost someone. To hear the stories and to learn about those whom cancer has touched and to experience that love is just palpable. The feeling of wanting to make a change and to do something for those who have experienced cancer is huge.”
Cristy is the mother of Julian Fraser, a 2014 Greenwich High School graduate and All-American swimmer and water polo player, who sadly passed away in 2017 after a short battle with osteosarcoma. Team Julian, which is one of the largest teams that participates at Swim Across America Fairfield County, swims in Julian’s memory.
"I wasn't a swimmer when I first joined Swim Across America Fairfield County, noted Nancy Carr, co-chair. "But I quickly realized after my friend Cristy Fraser's son was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, that I could contribute in many other ways. If you would like to participate but swimming isn’t your thing, we have a lot of other ways to get involved: you can be a land volunteer, or boat, kayak or stand-up paddle board on June 25th, the day of the big swim. We also have pool swims, a Sip & Shop event or you can donate and support a swimmer or team. What began as a singular summer event has turned into a year-long roster that is supported by a community getting together to fight a really serious disease with such fun and such joy, it is something you really have to experience to feel."
While Swim Across America is a national organization and offers open water and pool swims in 24 communities, from Boston Harbor to under the Golden Gate Bridge, its roots are firmly anchored along the shores of Connecticut. Darien, Connecticut, resident Matt Vossler and his lifelong friend and college roommate Jeff Keith founded Swim Across America in 1987 swimming in Long Island Sound. Throughout its 35 years, Swim Across America has raised more than $100 million in the fight against cancer. More than 120 Olympians support Swim Across America, including Michael Phelps, Craig Beardsley (who is being inducted into the International Swimmer’s Hall of Fame this fall), Donna De Varona (a Greenwich resident and honorary Fairfield County co-chair), Rowdy Gaines, Janel Jorgensen McArdle (who grew up in Ridgefield, Connecticut), Bobby Hackett, Ryan Lochte, Glenn Mills, Cristina Teuscher (who participates in the Fairfield County event) and many more.
To learn more about Swim Across America Fairfield County or to register to swim, volunteer or donate, visit swimacrossamerica.org/fc.