Welcome to Swim For The Cure 2019!
19th Annual Swim for the Cure 2019
Saturday, August 10, 2019
8 mile / 12.8 km swim
Severn River between Swift Rapids (lock 43) and Big Chute (lock 44)
The open water swimming has been slow to get started this year as we have had extensive rain and cooler temperatures. I did really enjoying swimming (indoors) during our recent trip to Ireland and once home switched from 84F water (indoors) to Severn River 66F/18C water. The North Atlantic Ocean around Ireland was only 11.5C – I didn’t brave that water.
I continue to swim in honour of two very important women in my life: my Nana, Christina Morgan and my Aunt Terri Morgan. Both women shared their journey with breast cancer with me – my Nana when I was a 10 year old and still learning about breasts. I learned from my Nana that bad things (cells) could grow inside a breast resulting in a radical mastectomy and about some pretty cool gels that could be put inside a bra. My Aunt Terri’s journey was when I was an adult, a wife, a mother and a nurse who understood the ravage of cancer. As years have gone by, special friends and moms of friends have shared their story and journey. I am so thankful to have travelled with Cheryl and to still have her in my life.
Since the start of The Swim for the Cure I have been gifted with stories and experiences of strength and courage by the women and some men who have shared their journey. On my first swim, a woman waited for me to finish to thank me for swimming – I tried as best as I could (with exhausted tears running down my face) to explain that she was my heroine vs the other way around. Breast cancer treatment is not accomplished by the weak. It takes incredible gumption to smile and face each day believing that the brutal assaults on your body will result in life, slightly differently configured that before the journey started.
Each year I enter the water thinking about the feel of the water, a place that I love, and knowing that others are swimming just like me. Knowing that our training was enough and that our journey has an end point. When I get tired or feel unwell I can rest for a moment, have some nourishment, and receive some encouragement from my brother Jamie and other supporters. I know that others are journeying with me, experiencing the same cold patches, waves, cheering from the cottagers and thinking about that moment when we finish. We get out of the water, proud, sometimes sore and knowing that our bodies got us to where we wanted to go. I may have some sore muscles in the morning – I am not faced with surgery, another round of chemo or radiation, waiting for good or bad news – not knowing if I can count on my body to see me through the journey. It is an honour to swim each year and to be joined by such amazing women, men and youth.
This is our 19th year for the swim and next year, the 20th year will be my last year organizing the swim. I am hoping someone else will take the lead as I am happy to swim, would just like to give up the organizing part.
We will swim on August 10th this year giving each of the swimmer some more open water time and hopefully enjoy normal water levels and water temperatures. I will be back to swimming solo this year as the young women who have joined me for the last few years are ready to swim as part of a relay team.
This year I am excited to be partnering with Josh Reid and his South West Ontario Open Water Swim – SWOOWS. This group runs a series of races and experience swims to encourage open water swimming. They use a point system to encourage participation. The Swim for the Cure will be an experience swim as we require a kayak or canoe beside each swimmer and it is not a race. The Swim for the Cure is about setting a goal and journeying to Big Chute at your pace in amongst the other swimmers. The Swim for the Cure solo swim is 12.8 km which will equal 1,280 points for SWOOWS swimmers and starting at Severn Falls equals 780 points, relay swims will equal 100 points for every kilometer. Check SWOOWS for more information.
I will get into the water on August 10, 2019 with a nervous belly, even though I have completed the swim every year. After the first break my nervous belly will be gone and my stroke will settle into the pattern that will see me through to the end 5 to 6 hours later, depending on the conditions. I will hear about how other swimmers are doing along the journey and be greeted with clapping and do the same for those following behind me – it is a joyful day, full of many emotions (and some complaining), ending with elation.
If you are in the area, we would love to see you, if you can paddle, a swimmer may benefit from your support, if you swim – please consider joining us – the swim isn’t a walk in the park and you can start as part of a relay or do the 7.8 km swim. The feeling at the end, when your wobbling legs touch the bottom and you lift your head, knowing you “did it” is one amazing feeling and part of the reason why I train and swim each year!
In the past 18 years the swimmers and crew have raised over $251,000 for women, men and children affected by breast cancer. We welcomed and swam with 147 swimmers over the years and have several new and returning swimmers again this year.
Thank you for considering supporting my swim, making a donation to Breast Cancer and most importantly sending a message of hope and support to women and men, their children, the other swimmers and to me.
Will next year be your year to join us? Have a look www.swimforthecure.ca.
Come Swim With Us!
We invite you to register for the swim by signing up on this page. Or to donate. Online pledging is secure and it saves the Society money by reducing administrative costs - it means the money you give can go further to help the fight against cancer.