Shelton resident supporting those battling cancer
Shelton resident Teresa Gagnon will take part in SWIM Across the Sound with the Survivors — a six-person relay team that will take turns swimming 15.5 miles from Port Jefferson, N.Y., across Long Island Sound to Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport — on Saturday, Aug. 3.
Gagnon and her team will be crossing the sound along with approximately 100 other swimmers, accompanied by a fleet of 65 escort boats and 20 law enforcement boats. All are participating in St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound marathon to raise money for cancer patients. Net proceeds are used to help individuals and families who are battling the multifaceted challenges of cancer.
A veteran of the SWIM Across the Sound Marathon, Gagnon is happy to be back for her 16th consecutive year. She and the Survivors will be swimming this year in honor of her mother, who died from colon cancer last December. “Although I lost my sweet mom, I am so grateful for having her in my life for so long,” said Teresa. “I still miss her every day.”
Driven by her love for swimming, Gagnon is excited not only for the marathon, but also for the great cause that it supports.
“Participating in the marathon is my reward for getting into a healthy exercise routine, doing something I love, and raising money for a great cause.” said Gagnon.
Gagnon’s team, The Survivors, is comprised of both cancer survivors and supporters.
“We use the team name ‘Survivors’ because I wanted to put forth the message that while we will always swim in memory of the many loved ones we have lost,” said Gagnon, “we are also swimming for Survivors in hopes that their numbers will continue to increase.”
As a matter of fact, Gagnon is one of those survivors herself. “In May of 2017, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thanks to early detection — one of the many services the SWIM provides — my treatment involved surgery and radiation,” said Gagnon. “I didn’t need chemotherapy and the impact on my daily activities was minimal. I swam that August.”
There are several ways to support Gagnon and her team including donating online at https://give.stvincents.org and joining the event live on Saturday, Aug. 3, at Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport as the swimmers cross the finish line.
St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound is a charitable not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization run by the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation of Bridgeport. Since 1987, the SWIM has had a unique niche helping individuals and families struggling through the difficult changes that cancer brings with it, organizers said.
The SWIM serves approximately 30,000 people annually by providing over 45 programs, including cancer education, screening, prevention and support programs at low- or no-cost for the uninsured and underinsured. It also helps individual cancer patients on a case-by-case basis with specific financial assistance, funding of wigs and prostheses, medication assistance, free transportation to treatments and appointments, day-care scholarships, support groups and more.
For more information, contact the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation at 203-576-5451 or visit www.SwimAcrossTheSound.org.