It is important to me, as a cancer survivor, to do what I can to help others who have been diagnosed with/are fighting this terrible disease.
Every August since finishing chemotherapy (in September 2007), I have participated in the St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation's "Swim Across the Sound", a daylong relay race that begins in Port Jefferson, NY, crosses Long Island Sound and finishes in Bridgeport, CT. I do not actually swim in the race – the thousands of jellyfish that drifted through the Sound my first year quickly cured me of any such motivation. Rather, I drive one of the boats that escort each team across the water, providing respite, refreshment and shade to the swimmers. Each year, I've been fortunate enough to work with the same team, a dedicated group of young ladies – led by team captain Kimberly Russo – who have now volunteered their efforts for this event for several years running, and I look forward to working with them again for this year's event on Saturday, August 7, 2010.
The particularly cool thing about the St. Vincent's Foundation is that all of the money raised, instead of going to research, directly benefits lower-income cancer patients (whose diagnosis may have left them unable to work, or otherwise hindered their ability to work) by helping them with regular household expenses such as groceries, utility bills, rent or even mortgage payments. To these ends, last year's Swim Across the Sound raised approximately $2.5 million.
Indeed, we are all feeling the effects of these hard economic times. But imagine, for a moment, the unspeakable difficulty of facing a cancer diagnosis on top of those day-to-day challenges. Bearing that in mind, I humbly appeal to you to help our team help the St. Vincent’s Foundation in supporting those unfortunate enough to be experiencing that very scenario. Donations may be made here (and remember, no amount is too small).
Thanks for listening, and good health and fortune upon you,
PS – I have participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for the last few years, in the fall, in support of the oncology center where I took treatment. However, as the oncology center has shifted this year’s main fundraising efforts to another event, held in February, it is unlikely that I will participate in this year's Komen race. (Bottom line: I won't be pestering you for donations again three months from now!)