Metro swimmers paddle with purpose, fighting cancer

It didn’t matter if you were performing the backstroke, the butterfly or freestyle. At least 100 swimmers made a splash for a good cause Saturday morning in Albuquerque. 

“I’m here to swim Splash Away Cancer. It’s a great event to get everyone out and exercise while also raising funds to help cancer patients with their treatments,” said Brandon Hoffman, a swimmer. 

Brandon has been swimming for most of his life. Saturday at the Splash Away Cancer Fundraiser, he’s swimming in honor of one of his former coaches. 

“I’m here for her today, she was very inspirational as a leader,” said Hoffman. 

He says it was difficult to watch his mentor go through something so painful. 

“Shaving her head and really struggling to hang in there, it was tough, but she won the fight for a really long time,” said Hoffman. 

Most of the swimmers have been affected by the disease—directly and indirectly. On a chalkboard at the Armond H. Seidler Natatorium at UNM, swimmers wrote the names of their loved ones who have fought. 

“It’s a neat board where people can remember them,” said Joel Swartz one of the organizers of Splash Away Cancer. 

The UNM Cancer Center treats more than 12,000 patients every year. The money raised Saturday will help patients keep up with their normal lives. 

“Our patient care fund which provides gas cards, grocery cards and overnight stays for people that may find it difficult to gain access to the cancer center,” said Loraine Hare with the UNM Cancer Center. 

Organizers say it’s about more than just money, it’s a showing of solidarity. 

“I think it’s the spirit, the thought, and the idea that is the most important thing,” said Swartz. 

This is the fifth annual Splash Away Cancer, organizers say they raised $10,000.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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