I don't know Liz Beisel personally, but being a Rhode Islander from the next town over, I know plenty of people who do. I do have a minor connection with her! Back in the summer of 2008, when she was busy making her Olympic debut at just 15 years old, I washed dishes with her brother on Saturday nights (not during her swims, obvi)! As a high schooler in southern Rhode Island at the time, her name was EVERYWHERE. Everybody knew her story. A 15-year-old North Kingstown student competing in the Olympics was THE story of the summer after the Celtics winning it all.
Beisel swam at the University of Florida, making the U.S. Olympic Swim Team in 2012 and again in 2016 as team captain, winning two medals in the process.
While it's basically scrubbed from her Wikipedia page (a huge accomplishment for anybody from Rhode Island), Liz appeared on season 39 of Survivor, published a book, and now is going to attempt to swim from Point Judith to Block Island on August 30th to raise money for Swim Across America, a non-profit dedicated to funding cancer research, and clinical trials. Her goal is currently $25,000, but I know with the help of my massive readership base, she can cruise past that.
CAUSE: Swim Across America is a national non-profit that runs swimming-related events throughout the country to support cancer research at the most highly recognized hospitals and institutions. To date, $100 million has been granted nationwide over the last 35 years and more than 100 Olympians have participated in SAA events.
THE SWIM: On August 30, 2021, Elizabeth Beisel (with the help of her incredible support staff) will attempt to be the first woman to swim the 20km (12.4 mile) route from Pt. Judith, RI to Block Island, RI. Elizabeth will adhere to Marathon Swimmers Federation rules throughout the entirety of her swim. The swim will be nonstop and unassisted.My name is Elizabeth Beisel and I am a swimmer. I have competed for the United States in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games and have won a couple Olympic medals, but my swimming career and accomplishments pale in comparison as to why I'm here today.
On Christmas Day 2020, my family received the news that someone we love dearly was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. While this news was shocking, our family has been nothing but hopeful that our loved one will beat this, no matter how hard the fight.
After a few weeks of fully processing the diagnosis and researching the disease itself, I quickly realized what my family was going through was sadly all too common. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, meaning at some point the vast majority of us will face cancer in some way, shape, or form. While reading these staggering statistics, I felt the overwhelming need to help anyone and everyone battling this dreadful disease. I figured with my swimming platform (albeit small, but mighty!) the most impactful way I could help would be through a charity swim. I chose to swim from Pt. Judith to Block Island, something that I've wanted to do since I was a little girl. I named the swim "Block Cancer" and teamed up with Swim Across America. 100% of funds raised will be donated to cancer research and clinical trials.
Welcome to Block Cancer. Thank you for joining the fight.
THE CAUSE: Swim Across America is a national non-profit that runs swimming-related events throughout the country to support cancer research at the most highly recognized hospitals and institutions. To date, $100 million has been granted nationwide over the last 35 years and more than 100 Olympians have participated in SAA events.
THE SWIM: On August 30, 2021, Elizabeth Beisel (with the help of her incredible support staff) will attempt to be the first woman to swim the 20km (12.4 mile) route from Pt. Judith, RI to Block Island, RI. Elizabeth will adhere to Marathon Swimmers Federation rules throughout the entirety of her swim. The swim will be nonstop and unassisted
Talk about a perfectly cute but practical hashtag, what a play on words! I don't know much about swimming, but I do know it's super fucking hard. I've never gotten past a doggy paddle. In an Ironman, the swim is "only 2.4 miles". Add another 10 (12.4 total), and you've got the distance between Pt. Judy and the Block. By comparison, the English Channel, perhaps the most famous non-pool swim, is about 21 miles.
Everybody has been affected by cancer in one way or another. I'm proud to say my grandmother is 2-0 against various bouts of the pre-COVID "Big C." Unfortunately, not all stories are as happy as that, I have too many friends who've lost parents to this cruel disease. I have multiple family members currently battling with not excellent prognoses, but the point is we've all been impacted by cancer.
I feel like, especially during COVID, people have sort of forgotten there's other diseases and health issues out there that still need help. As of today, Smallpox is the only ever entirely eradicated disease, so every cent helps in the fight for a cure. I unequivocally support this cause and all anti-cancer foundations (a pretty brave stance, I know). Whenever I eventually cut my gorgeous, silky hair, it will be used to make a wig for something going through Chemo (hashtag good guy). Until then, this is too good of a cause and too fire of a design to not support!
If you're interested in donating or buying any of the merch to help support this cause, please visit swimacrossamerica.com to #BlockCancer. Best of luck, Liz! You've got Ole Dozo's support!
As is tradition.