From Port Jeff to Bridgeport: 'Swim Across the Sound' raises money for cancer patients

It was the 36th annual Swim Across the Sound - an incredible athletic accomplishment and a major fundraiser for families battling cancer.

Tom Krosnowski

Aug 10, 2023, 7:30 AM

Updated 290 days ago

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Saturday sure was a great day for a swim.
It was the 36th annual Swim Across the Sound - an incredible athletic accomplishment and a major fundraiser for families battling cancer.
A passionate cheering section and supportive teammates went a long way for the hundreds of swimmers tasked with crossing Long Island Sound in a 15.5-mile trip.
Cancer patients need the same support – and the more than $400,000 raised at this year’s Swim Across the Sound will ease the burden for patients and their families.
“People have mortgages to make,” supporter Shauna Quigley-Blaze of Stratford said. “They have a difficult time with everyday life expenses, and this is the other part of this fund that a lot of people don't understand. They think it's all about the research. No, it's helping families every day.”
Each of the teams featured swimmers, spotters and medics.
Joey Nizzardo’s grueling day on the water ended after more than seven hours. He says it’s the longest race he’s been a part of - making the decision to go solo this year after participating in a team relay last year. He has a special reason for racing.
“[I race for] everyone in my family and friends that has been affected by cancer,” Nizzardo said. “My grandfather has cancer – for people like him. I think it's really important that we can empathize with people who need money to get cancer treatments, and I think this is a great cause for that.”
Quigley-Blaze is part of one of those families. Both her parents, her brother and other relatives all battled cancer. She showed up for them.
“Life changes in a heartbeat,” Quigley-Blaze said. “You just never know what's going to happen to anyone. So, it's wonderful to see people stepping up. We always need people to volunteer. There's always something a volunteer can do.”
“We've exceeded our goal, we've exceeded past fundraising dollar amounts, Hartford HealthCare Fairfield Region President Bill Jennings said. “And that's really what it's all about.”


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