Swim Across America (SAA) announced that Team Hope has raised over $1,000,000 for cancer research. In an announcement made at the Sound to Cove Swim in Glen Head on Aug. 6, 19 Team Hope members joined with 128 swimmers that day to raise $360,000 for Swim Across America’s beneficiaries. Team Hope was established by Captain Mike Ford of Port Washington 13 years ago. At the Sound to Cove Swim, SAA presented Ford and his cocaptain Laureen Keenan with plaques commemorating the milestone.
Team Hope had more than 90 swimmers at three events this year: in the open water on Aug. 6, in the Aquatic Center on July 20 and at its home pool at North Hempstead Country Club on July 15. Most of Team Hope consists of members, family, friends and staff of North Hempstead Country Club, which honored the team’s accomplishments during its 100th year celebration. With the million-dollar mark in sight and memories of family members in their hearts, Team Hope surpassed its goal of $100,000 this year.
Team Hope supports Dr. Jedd Wolchok of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a leading research oncologist in the promising field of immunotherapy, featured in the New York Times July 30 article, “Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer.”
Wolchok attended the Swim Across America event in Glen Cove to thank and encourage one of his earliest and most generous supporters. Outside of the National Institute of Health, Swim Across America is the largest funder to the SAA lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering, granting approximately $500,000 annually of its $3-million budget.
Approximately 20 to 40 percent of Wolchok’s patients with advanced melanoma respond to immunotherapy, but he is determined to help more. Team Hope also supports the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore; the Feinstein Institute; the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Fighting Chance; a free Cancer Resource and Counseling Center in Sag Harbor; and the MIRACLE Pavilion at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre.
Ford states, “Until there is a cure, Swim Across America’s volunteers, donors, swimmers and research beneficiaries will continue to make waves to fight cancer. Team Hope thanks every swimmer and donor who has contributed to this million-dollar milestone over the past 13 years.”