By VICTORIA DINKEL
Photography by CHICHI UBIÑA
W is for Wetsuits – who doesn’t look cool in a wetsuit!
H is for hundred percent! 100% of donations received by ACGT go directly to cancer research!
Y is for Yale University and the innovative lab being used to research new treatments for blood cancers.
I is for immune therapy and RNA that might be the answer and funds are needed to figure that out.
S is for Dr. Samuel Katz at Yale University, an ACGT Swim Across America grant recipient – Sam, you’ve got this!
W is for Wavemakers – my team – and a fabulous group to be a part of.
I is for I want to make a difference!
M is for Mather Hospital, Dr. Vacirca and all of the people who helped my Mom, Catherine Clark.
Eleven years ago, my friend, Jacque Lang asked if I would consider swimming in an event she was working on with her sister (Janel) to raise money for cancer research. At the time, I had little knowledge of SAA and its’ impact on cancer and only vaguely knew that Janel was an olympic swimmer. Despite having never swam a lap in a pool, let alone 1.5 miles in open water, there was something intriguing about trying something new. Jacque and Janel gave me a freestyle swim lesson as my three small children sat poolside. To get a swim lesson from two spectacular swimmers- including an olympic Silver Medalist – was priceless.
At the SAA event I was touched by the stories of each of the swimmers. The first year I swam for our family friend, Jimmy Keating. His daughter, Kelly Stapleton went on to start the SAA pool swim in Lynbrook, NY.
Sadly, each year, there was someone else to swim for. Mr. LeDoux, Ken Koestler, Noreen, Chip, Justin, Mrs. Gotimer the list goes on. So I kept swimming. Three years ago my mom, Catherine (Gallagher) Clark was diagnosed with AML Leukemia. My Mom grew up on Rockaway Beach and her love for the water and its healing power was one of her greatest influences on me. This year, I will be swimming in my mom’s memory. She was my biggest fan and most generous supporter.
Each year my entire family looks forward to volunteering at the Greenwich swim. I am astounded by the generosity of my friends and family to contribute to the Alliance for Gene Therapy. After my mom’s treatment I know first-hand how important the research funded is to those undergoing treatment.
In our lifetime, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer. I joined the SAA community so that, together, we can change that. I am challenging myself by swimming in the Greenwich Open Water Swim and raising as much money to fight cancer as I can. Please support me by sponsoring my swim and making a gift. The money you give will go towards cancer research, prevention and treatment and will make an impact in the fight to find a cure. Thank you for your generosity and may it lead to a cancer-free world!
Please join me in remembering all these great people by making a donation supporting Swim Across America at http://www.swimacrossamerica.org/greenwich.