Friday, October 7, 2011


Last Saturday was my day to do the Swim A Mile for Women with Cancer. It is a benefit for the Women's Cancer Resource Center (WCRC) in Oakland, California, an organization that provides FREE support and resources to women with cancer. This year, WCRC celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The Swim was at the Mills College pool, a wonderful swim venue.

As I have for the last 14 years, I swam the entire mile and had a wonderful time doing it. So far, I've raised $3175.24 for WCRC.

And, I had the privilege of being interviewed by two UC Berkeley Journalism graduate students who were covering the Swim for The interview and their beautifully-produced video are online. To see the video and read their article, click the link in this paragraph.

As always, there were a large number of volunteers checking in the nearly-600 swimmers.

Harriet swam with me and Pat had already completed her swim by the time we got there.

As always, Judy came along with Pat to cheer her on and, of course, take great photographs.

Another special swim buddy, Mary Jo, was also their with her group from Club Sport.

Here we are after our swim, still dripping wet, but very happy.

Harriet, who was doing her 6th Swim-A-Mile and I got to share a lane again. We had a few others in the lane with us as well which kept our lane counters very busy.

About halfway through her swim, Harriet had an equipment malfunction!!! She dropped her kick board into the pool gutter and it floated downstream.

We had to call in emergency help, who retrieved the kickboard, knowing exactly were it would have landed. And Harriet was back on the road, so to speak.

And, Harriet had a glorious finish to her mile.

By the way, the Swim-A-Mile is a fun swim not a competitive swim. Swimmers can use fins, kickboards, paddles and any other gear they wish. If they get tired, it's OK to rest. Even those who can't swim participate by walking the mile.

These two walkers had a great time and finished their mile. One of them is in the same video and interview on as I am.

As always, there was a delicious array of food for everyone to enjoy...that everyone included swimmers, their friends and family, and all the staff and volunteers who worked to make the Swim A Mile a successful event.

This is one of the booths around the pool where everyone who swims gets a chance to win a prize by spinning the Cancer Question wheel.

Since 2000, the person at WCRC with whom I've most been in touch has been Ali Vogt, who has produced and publicized the Swim-A-Mile.

Whether I've forgotten my password on the donation page or need more cards to fill out for those I'm honoring in the swim, Ali has been there with a prompt answer/solution. At the swim and any other WCRC events related to the Swim, Ali is always there to greet everyone. She's been a great inspiration and supporter but, sadly for we swimmers, this was Ali's last year to produce the Swim-A-Mile. She's decided that it is now time for her devote herself fulltime to building her psychotherapy practice. Ali has offices in Oakland and in San Francisco, Good luck, Ali; it's been my pleasure to have been part of your WCRC life.

As I prepared my “In Honor Of” and “In Memory Of” signs that I posted at the swim, I stopped to count the number of names of people for whom I was swimming. The count was a shocking 45 whom I honored and 22 whom I remembered.

I remember 14 years ago, at the time of my own cancer diagnosis, that I knew exactly two people with cancer and none who had died from it!!!

Here are those for whom I swam:

Thanks, WCRC for a wonderful day. And a special Thank You to all my generous sponsors for supporting me and WCRC!

1 comment:

mary ann said...

You have inspired me and you are one of the reasons I decided that I could do the fund-raising thing for the Leukemia Society. Thank you. I did well up reading all those "in memory ofs..."