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Johns Hopkins Bayview News - Giving Back

Fall 2014

Giving Back

By: Martin Fisher
Date: October 6, 2014

Swim Across America funds life-saving cancer research

Male swimmer in mid-stroke

For the past four years, a team of Johns Hopkins faculty and staff has been raising money for cancer research—but instead of joining the 5k runs typical of many fund-raisers, they’ve been diving into the Chesapeake Bay as part of Swim Across America Baltimore. Each year the group, led by John R. Burton, M.D., raises pledges and support before swimming three miles across Redhouse Cove. Determination to help friends and family who have suffered from cancer provides the drive to keep going the distance in training and fund-raising—the team annually leads the pack in terms of donations, typically raising close to $40,000.

Proceeds from Swim Across America Baltimore’s annual race provides essential funding to the Swim Across America Laboratory at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. The lab’s broad scope includes clinical care, research and treating the human cost of cancer, and has produced remarkable results. In less than four years, the lab has developed a blood test that may help detect recurring breast cancer, is testing a personalized test that can detect cancer cells left after surgery, and has hosted a retreat for couples living with metastatic cancer that, as the first of its kind, has served as a template for nationwide emulation. Dr. Burton, director of the Johns Hopkins Geriatric Education Center, notes that the Johns Hopkins oncology program was founded on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus, and that the Swim Across America team helps honor that spirit. “What better thing to do? This money is precious funding for young scholars, pilot programs and cutting-edge research that move the field forward,” he says. Team member Bill Carruth agrees, saying, “The innovations they have developed in patient care are remarkable for their insight and compassion.”

For a video tour of the Swim Across America Laboratory and to learn why funding is so important, visit You also can learn how you can swim, donate or volunteer.

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