There were 27 swimmers from the Melville Mantas Swim Club and their Parents at the Labrador Recreation Centre swimming pool on Friday February 23rd for the ‘Swim for Hope’ fundraiser.
The ‘Swim for Hope’ is a 12-hour continuous swim relay that has been held annually for the past 22 years with participating swimmers collecting donations and pledges with the funds raised shared between the Swim Club and the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation.
Newfoundland and Labrador currently have the highest incidence rate of cancer in Canada, with 1 in 3 people (33 per cent) in our province being diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime – the incidence rate of cancer is projected to increase to 40 per cent by 2028.
The night began with a welcome from the Melville Mantas Swim Club President, Peter Langlois which included the lighting of candles and observing a minute’s silence for those who have passed away from cancer. This was followed by Jodie Bowles, who has two children who are members of the Swim Club and who were participating in the Swim for Hope speaking to the group.
Bowles has beaten cancer on two separate occasions, the first time when she was only 18 years of age. Bowles said “I remember being at University and finding a lump on my neck, before I knew it, after seeing the GP, who referred me to the surgeon, I was in having surgery. Being diagnosed with cancer is not something that you think is going to happen to you when you are so young.”
“Having always being involved in competitive sports while growing up, keeping active and involved in playing sports helped me get through my cancer treatment”.
Bowles encouraged the swimmers to look after their health, and reminded all of the children that if they are not feeling well or notice something that is unusual with their body to go and see a Doctor.
Kerry Rideout, the head coach of the Melville Mantas Swim Club told The Labradorian that in all of the 18 years he has been coaching with the Club, they have been participating in the Swim for Hope event.
“This is a fun night for the kids, it’s different to their normal sessions as its not practice for competition or a swim meet, but a more relaxed schedule of events”
Lisa Aylward, Treasure of the Melville Mantas Swim Club said “This year we have raised $5105.40, with our top 3 fundraising swimmers being Aiden with $547.40, Chloe with $500 and Ashlee with $450.”