In previous blog posts for Cirrus Data Solutions, I’ve written about my participation in the annual Swim Across America event which raises money to fight cancer. Our local event is called the “Sound to Cove” open swim, and it takes place between Long Island, New York’s north shore and Connecticut, usually on the first weekend in August. I have been swimming in this event for nine years now, having joined the team after first being invited by Jim Sirignano, a former EMC account exec who I met while traveling to a customer site. Jim leads our team, and is deeply involved in this cause as you can see from our team’s page. “Our Answer To Cancer” has been raising money to fight this affliction for sixteen years.

Given the importance of such an event, you’d think I’d have remembered to order up good weather ahead of time for this year’s swim, but it must have slipped my mind with all the other things going on in the world right now. During the early morning hours of August 5th as I drove to the shore, a heavy downpour accompanied by explosive thunder threatened the start of the swim. Things didn’t look good.

I’ll keep you in suspense for a few minutes longer as I mention that once again, friends, family, as well as investors in Cirrus Data and colleagues that I have worked with over many years here and at previous companies, sponsored my 2017 swim to the tune of over $5,600! So for every meter I was to swim, my sponsors were kicking in over a dollar toward fighting cancer. For many of these contributors, this is personal. Almost everyone has been affected by this disease in one way or another, and these contributions over the years have made a real difference in peoples’ lives.

So, as I was staying, with the storm raging, things didn’t look good for this intrepid swimmer and his guide, Cirrus Data’s CEO, Wayne Lam, who was not content to merely sponsor my swim, but who was also accompanying me out on the waves in his kayak. Nevertheless, we persisted. The sequence of activities was switched, so the event ceremony occurred first, indoors. Representatives from multiple organizations reported the progress and achievements they were able to accomplish with funding from Swim Across America. You may have seen the TV commercial for Keytruda, a drug which uses the body’s own immune system to fight certain types of cancer. Swim Across America was the first to support the research effort that eventually led to the drug’s FDA approval. Attendees learned of the tremendous progress that has been made toward finding cures for all forms of cancer and toward providing relief to those who suffer, including those who are near and dear to us.

By the time the ceremony was wrapping up, the storm had passed, and the swim was a “go.” Due to the delayed schedule, only the one-mile, four-buoy configuration course was set up (like a baseball diamond). Each 5K swimmer was to swim around the diamond three times. So that was what I did. Normally that would have been quite challenging for me, since I would have to keep changing direction and looking for the next buoy. That was why I kept getting lost in previous swims, which led me to suspect Long Island Sound was a mini-Bermuda Triangle, with space and time warped due to “anti-relativity” or something. However, with Wayne’s guidance along the route, I was able to swim comfortably and finished within 1 hour and 45 minutes, restoring my faith in the definition of a straight line (see my previous blog post for the challenges I have had with this).

At the end of the day, the swim was another great success. Our team overall raised more than $26,000, and the Sound to Cove event raised over $400,000! I want to once again thank all those supported me in this, or who have contributed to other charitable events that help to reduce human misery and that promote everyone’s well-being. I really believe it is not just about the money itself, it is also about the goodwill we show that can make the world a better place.

Thank you all!