A man with a mission, Port Washington resident Mike Ford, once again takes his crusade with Swim Across America’s (SAA) Team Hope to the water making waves to fight cancer. Swim Across America is a national organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.
Swimmers from North Hempstead Country Club comprise Team Hope, which is in its 15th year led by Ford and Laureen Keenan. The group has raised almost $1.2 million for research oncologists improving cancer prevention and treatment.
Steve Hoban started Team Hope in 2004. Ford, a Port resident and a member of North Hempstead Country Club since 1989, originally swam with the Larchmont chapter of Swim Across America in 2000. He decided to switch to the local chapter in Nassau County, once established, after several friends were stricken by the disease.
Dr. Marc Symons of the Feinstein Institute attended to thank the swimmers for contributing to a new discovery—combining a statin with chemotherapy to extend the effectiveness for children battling brain cancer. The 50 swimmers raised more than $80,000 at North Hempstead’s pool July 20 and the Eisenhower Park Aquatic Center on Aug. 4, swimming a mile or a half-mile in honor of friends and family. Team Hope thanks the management and staff and members of North Hempstead Country Club and all of its swimmers and donors for their support.
The proceeds of the swim supports cancer research at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s SAA Laboratory, the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, the Feinstein Institute and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Also, they are supporting Fighting Chance, a free cancer resource and counseling center in Sag Harbor and the Miracle Foundation Pavilion at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre.