On the weekend of October 4-6, 2013 I participated and photographed one of the most special, emotional, rewarding, uplifting and insightful experiences of my life; Swim Across America, San Francisco Bay Swim, Making Waves to Fight Cancer. Swimmers gathered at Crissy Field, traveled to Pier 3 and then boarded a boat for a ride around Alcatraz ending just under the Golden Gate Bridge. Swimmers of all ages and levels participated. There were cancer survivors, supporters, donors, volunteers on land and sea, first time swimmers and cheering spectators. I watched and documented families and friends old and new bonding, sharing uplifting stories and life lessons in preparation for the really big “jump into the Bay” just under the Golden Gate Bridge. A record, 273 swimmers along side kayakers and padders swam in 62 degree waters to Crissy Field Beach for a swim totaling around 1.5 miles. There were 20 Swim Angels, 8 US Olympians and 22 “Teams” which made for friendly competition and fundraising. The morning concluded with a celebration and “Team” photographs at Crissy Field Beach on the most gorgeous 85 degree day that I remember. My team lead by Susan Helmrich – Team Susan Survives raised $62,295. Please watch Beating Cancer One Lap at a Time; Video of Susan Helmrich to see her story, which is truly incredible and has inspired me in so many ways. All the money raised by the SAA -SF Bay event fund valuable, cutting-edge cancer research at both the
UCSF Benioff Children’s Cancer Survivorship Program and the Center for Cancer Research at Children’s Hospital Research Center Oakland.
We all have been effected by Cancer in some way. For me, losing my Step-Father Fred Steinhardt, at age 59 in 2000 from Pancreatic Cancer changed my life forever.