Emily Miers: Balmoral Swim For Cancer has a personal connection

As an open water swimming enthusiast, a good weekend is one that centres around the ocean, either training with friends or participating in a local community race.

While we are lucky in Sydney to have a range of ocean swims that offer challenges through varying distances, conditions, locations and water temperature – there is one race that seems to have a perfect balance – The Balmoral Swim For Cancer – and if it isn’t locked in to your diary (as it is mine), I highly encourage you to do so.

Taking place on Sunday 3 April 2022, the Balmoral Swim For Cancer has a swim distance to suit everyone, ranging from the 200m junior swim to a 5km event. Balmoral Beach plays host to the most beautiful sunrise through Sydney Heads, warm waters and protected seas.

While the main attraction on the day is the swim races, the camaraderie created by the community of locals and swimmers is second to none, all uniting to raise important funds for the Children’s Cancer Institute.

As an ambassador for Children’s Cancer Institute and the Balmoral Swim For Cancer, I have been able to combine my love for the water with my personal pledge to assist in eliminating childhood cancer.

My relationship with Children’s Cancer Institute has arisen since the passing of my sister Sarah from an ependymoma brain tumour at the age of three. Throughout Sarah’s treatment, it was clear to my family the need for further research into children’s cancer to change the immediate outlook for children and their families after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

In 2014, I met (and quickly became friends with) Dr Orazio Vittorio, a Team Leader in the Metal Targeted Therapy & Immunology lab at Children’s Cancer Institute who is dedicated to researching childhood cancers and the role of metals (such as copper) in the growth of childhood tumours.

Since becoming friends with Dr Orazio, I embarked on a swim across the English Channel to raise awareness of the ongoing research needed to eradicate childhood cancer and raise money in support of Dr Orazio’s projects undertaken through the Children’s Cancer Institute.

The highlight of successfully achieving my English Channel Swim has not been any form of accolade or personal credence. Instead, it has been the ability to spark conversations regarding children’s cancer with friends, colleagues and members of my local swimming community and there is no better opportunity to continue these conversations than at the Balmoral Swim For Cancer on 3 April 2022.

The Children’s Cancer Institute is making groundbreaking progress, none of which would be achievable without community support, including the funds raised at the Balmoral Swim For Cancer.

While I stand on the start line of the Balmoral Swim For Cancer, I won’t just be motivated by my sister Sarah, I will be joined by members of Dr Orazio’s team who will be taking part in their first Balmoral Swim. With Dr Orazio cheering us on from the beach, I will be proud to share the start line with the Children’s Cancer Institute Team and stand united with all other participants in the fight against childhood cancer. Seeing the community’s backing behind the research facilitated by the Children’s Cancer Institute is heartwarming and will be sure to inspire you throughout your swim as it will do for me.

I look forward to seeing you at the Balmoral Swim For Cancer and together, assist to eradicate childhood cancer.

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