Swimmers set to make a splash for cancer research

Cancer survivor Phil Dodson at the 2021 Swim Across America Photo credit Phil Dodson

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Friends, family and cancer survivors will be making a splash at Ohio Street Beach on Saturday during the 29th annual Swim Across America Chicago.

Founded in 1987 and celebrating 35 years of #makingwaves to #fightcancer this summer, Swim Across America is a national nonprofit organization that holds 24 open water swims across the country from Boston to under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Chicago resident Phil Dodson is a six-time cancer survivor and will participate in the open water swim for his 22nd consecutive year.

"It's about honoring the people that are no longer with us and fighting for the people that are in a big fight cause they've got it," Dodson said. "It's just a great social gathering."

The Chicago swim has raised more than $2 million for cancer research with its local beneficiary Rush University Cancer Center.

Dodson’s group, Team Life, is currently the number one fundraising team this year, raising more than $35,000 for cancer research.

Personally, he's raised $200,000 over the last 22 years.

"I never ask for money, I just say support me," he said. "In the emails that I send to everybody every year, I almost always end with 'the money you give today, maybe your cure tomorrow."

Describing himself as a young 69-year-old, Dodson hopes to continue his swimming tradition for at least another 10 years.

"Absolutely. I look forward to it."

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Phil Dodson