Earlier this year I set out a challenge for myself to do a really long swim for my mother, and on Monday that crazy idea grew into something really big for FirstRain and for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
We started doing athletic competitions at FirstRain back in 2008 as a way to build stronger teams inside the company and this Summer I decided to encourage Rainmakers to get involved in a series of events building up to my personal challenge of a 2.4 mile ocean swim off Maui.
And to my delight many of my coworkers have been with me all the way – and into the race! All summer Rainmakers have been training with me in the pool, competing in the Splash and Dash series and yesterday two of them did the Maui ‘Aumakua Swim too. We’ve been doing relays, running, teaching each other how to swim better and generally having fun and becoming friends.
The race yesterday was on a spectacular, perfect Maui day. The water was crystal clear and we were swimming over coral reefs, fish and the occasional turtle. Thomas and Jordy did the 1 mile distance and were both very pleased with their times and I beat my time goal in the 2.4 mile distance.
Jordy, Thomas and me – we were ready!
2.4 miles is a very long way to swim if you don’t compete all the time. It was a huge personal challenge for me but once I set my pace I pushed through, absolutely determined to finish because I was raising money for OCRF, I was on a mission and I was supported by so many coworkers, friends and family.
My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer 18 months ago. She has been through treatment and is in remission but we know the fight is not over. Unfortunately today there is no effective early detection method for this disease and so the statistics are tough. Over 22,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year in the US and over 15,000 die from it. My goal was to raise as much money as possible for OCRF to help find a detection method and ultimately a cure.
And the result was donations of more than $31,000! Truly fantastic generosity from many, many people. We put out a FirstRain press release on the news because the achievement is, to a great extent, the result of my coworkers wonderful involvement and support. It’s a privilege to work with such terrific people.
Several Rainmakers have asked me what we are going to do next Summer – any suggestions for what we should do next?