Charlotte Swim Event Raises Funds for Cancer Research | Features

Swim Across America (SAA) announces the 2021, fifth annual SAA-Charlotte Open Water Swim event, to be held on Sunday, October 3 at Camp Thunderbird.

“Proceeds from the swim will support cancer research at the Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.

Doug Towne, a member of the SAA’s National Council, and his wife, Pam, are new members of the Whispering Pines community, having recently relocated from Greenwich, Conn. They moved to live closer to Doug’s 94-year-old father, Bill Towne, and his wife, Patricia. , of Southern Pines.

Twenty-nine years ago, Doug and Pam joined a small group of friends at their first SAA event. They got together to raise money for cancer research because Doug’s father, Bill, had just finished treatment for throat cancer. The event was a 26-mile relay swim across Nantucket Sound to Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

“There were high winds, ten-foot swell and shark sightings,” Doug says. “It was long, exhausting and sometimes scary. It was an extreme event to draw attention to an extreme disease.”

Over the past three decades, the Towneses have continued to swim, volunteer and host events for SAA. In that time, SAA has grown from a single dive to 21 open water and 100 pool events across America. From inception through 2020, SAA has awarded more than $100 million dollars, leading to breakthroughs in immunotherapy, gene therapy, personalized medicine and new methods of detecting cancer.

Founded in 2017, SAA-Charlotte has donated more than $450,000 to beneficiaries: Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital.

In 2018, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to former Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) immunologist James Allison. Much of Allison’s groundbreaking work was funded by Swim Across America.

Jedd Wolchok, head of the Swim Across America Lab at MSKCC, says, “SAA funding has played a major role in the clinical development of the four FDA-approved immunotherapy drugs — Ipilimumab, Nivolumab, Pembrolizumab, and Atezolizumab.”

“Please participate by making a donation to the fifth annual Charlotte SAA Open Water event on October 3,” said Pam Towne. “It is an opportunity to remember all our relatives, friends and loved ones who have lost their battle against cancer. And to honor all warriors: those who are still fighting this terrible disease, hoping that soon all of you will be a survivor.

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