On Tuesday, December 4th the Bay Rockets Swim team will be holding their fourth annual “Swim-a-thon.”  Hosted at North Olmsted Rec Center, the Rockets Swim Team, along with members of the Bay Soccer team, will tread the waters to raise money for a good cause.  The concept is simple: swimmers have received pledges for a certain amount of money per lap they swim. They then have one hour to swim as many laps as possible, and at the end, the laps are totaled and the money is recorded from the pledges.  Last year the swim team raised an estimated $6,000, while swimming 4,828 laps. That’s 73 miles! This year the outlook is bright, and it is thought that swimmers will go above and beyond last year’s performance due to a very personal connection with the charitable cause.

This year the money raised will go towards Bile Duct Cancer research being done at The Ohio State University.  The Swim-a-thon is donating in memory of team captain Mason Hewko’s father, Brian Hewko. Mr. Hewko was a member of the Bay Village community and a soccer coach.  He passed away due to Bile Duct Cancer in late September of this year.

Bile Duct Cancer is a rare but extremely aggressive form of cancer.  It is a terrible, fast acting disease with a very low survival rate. Only 30% of patients survive one year after diagnosis, dropping to a mere 5% survival rate after five years according to a 2015 study by the National Cancer Intelligence Network.  

While the Swim-a-thon takes place on December 4th, the time for donations is extended until January 4th of 2019.  All donations will go directly to Dr. Roychowdhury at The James’ Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Dr. Roychowdhury is an oncologist who specializes in researching genomics and tumor DNA sequencing. He works to identify specific cancer therapies that target specific parts of the progression of cancer.  He and his team evaluate patients in their care as they proceed with clinical trials and matching patients with smart drugs and they then study the impact of the smart drugs on the cancer.

Cash and checks are accepted through January 4th for the Swim-a-thon fundraising and can be made payable to “The James” (OSUCCC) and can be dropped off in the Athletic Office.

Any questions can be directed to Head Coach Gabby Kariotakis, Cristi Mecsko at cristi0411@att.net or any of the team captains.

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