The next time you hear of a friend or family member receiving cancer or palliative care services on Nantucket you can thank a twelve-year-old who set up a lemonade stand to raise funds for Swim Across America. The funds raised by this annual swim go directly to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s (NCH) Oncology Department and Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket (PASCON). The Swim is scheduled for this Saturday morning, July 24 at Jetties Beach at 8 am.
Swimmers of all ages are expected to dive into the Nantucket Sound to battle cancer. There are many swim options for people of all ability. Participants can choose from a quarter-mile, a half-mile and a full mile swim. There will also be a Kids’ Splash. This year’s event was moved to late July to dodge the jellyfish that have been present in previous late August swims. There is a virtual option (“SAA MY WAY”) for those unable to join in person who want a personal challenge.
Last year more than 1400 cancer treatments and visits occurred at the Swim Across America Infusion Center at NCH. The funds raised for PASCON provided nearly 300 Island residents with in-home palliative care, all free of charge. “PASCON supports nurse practitioners, therapists, and volunteers who deliver care in people’s homes and we could not do this without Swim Across America” said PASCON President, Sharon Hussey.
This year’s events will also feature a long-distance swim by 12 hardy souls who will swim four miles along Nantucket’s north coast. In addition, 18 will run in the Falmouth Road Race in August as a Swim Across America team.
“We expect a busy beach and will have a fun and meaningful morning on our beautiful waterfront at Jetties Beach,” said Co-Event Director Jill Roethke. Come join us to hear from Vicki Bunke, whose fourteen-year-old daughter, Grace, passed away from a childhood cancer, but only after she raised over $100,000 for cancer care in the Swim Across America-Atlanta event. “Registrations are still open and we ask all islanders and summer residents to sign up to either Swim, Volunteer or Donate at www.swimacrossamerica.org/Nantucket to help support critical cancer and palliative care services at Nantucket Cottage Hospital and PASCON. We really can’t provide these important services without this Swim,” said Co-Event Director Jim Pignato.