Since 1987, Swim Across America has been “making waves” to fight cancer, raising over $85 million to fund cancer research and clinical trials through its signature charity swim events. In the past three years, its Charlotte chapter has granted over $335,000 to fund groundbreaking cancer research and clinical trials at Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital.

Like many organizations, Swim Across America – Charlotte was unable to host a live in-person event this summer. Alternatively, the organization is offering a virtual ‘Coast to Coast’ Challenge as a way for swimmers, volunteers, family and friends to continue to support research at Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital.

What is the ‘Coast to Coast’ Challenge? Coast to Coast is a virtual activity tracking and fundraising challenge where participants will work together to travel across America with a mission to support cancer research. “Any activity counts. Walking. Biking. Volunteering. It all counts. Simply enter your activity online and you will be supporting Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital. All proceeds—all—from our Charlotte charity swim are granted to Atrium Health,” said Swim Across America President & CEO Rob Butcher. The virtual route will travel to each Swim Across America open water event city (21 ‘stops’) for a 7,686 mile journey ending on Saturday, September 19.

Proceeds from the Coast to Coast challenge will support leukemia research at Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital. “We are very excited to be participating in the 2020 Coast to Coast Challenge, and we are thrilled that Levine Cancer Institute is a beneficiary of Swim Across America for the fourth consecutive year. Swim Across America has been a fantastic partner in our research efforts. Last year’s grant supported a project in our Hematologic Oncology Translational (HOT) lab, evaluating the way that a specific mutation (the CSF3R T618I mutation) functions in a blood cancer called Chronic Neutrophilic Leukemia. This year’s project is to evaluate drug metabolism and plasma medication levels in another blood cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Our hope is that this study may lead toward the use of CML medications in a manner that is more effective and less toxic,” told Michael R. Grunwald, MD, Chief, Leukemia Division, Levine Cancer Institute Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders. To learn more about leukemia care and research at Levine Cancer Institute, click here.

While the virtual event officially kicked off on Monday, June 22, registration for this event is still open. To register or learn more about this virtual event, click here.