Long Beach First Responders Complete Catalina Swim Challenge to Benefit Pediatric Cancer Research

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Jonathan Jaques Children's Cancer Center patient, Sydney Waldrop, 9, greets Long Beach lifeguard, Tyler Anderson, as he comes to shore after completing the 2nd Annual Catalina Swim Challenge.

Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center patient, Sydney Waldrop, 9, greets Long Beach lifeguard, Tyler Anderson, as he comes to shore after completing the 2nd Annual Catalina Swim Challenge.

To close Childhood Cancer Awareness Month the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) partnered with Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach for the 2nd Annual Catalina Swim Challenge, an open water, overnight, swim relay benefiting pediatric cancer research programs at Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center (JJCCC) at Miller Children’s. Money raised by the Catalina Swim Challenge helps fund research projects that improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood cancers and blood-related disorders at JJCCC.

Long Beach firefighters, police officers and lifeguards, led by Long Beach Fire Engineer Curtis Bowman, started the relay race at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3 from the shores of Catalina Island. In all there were five teams, consisting of 33 swimmers and 15 paddlers. The racers took turns swimming 30-minute legs with paddlers and six boats in the water next to them to monitor for sharks.

Around 12 hours and 42,487 strokes later the 28-mile long swim between Catalina Island and Long Beach came to an end at Alamitos Bay Landing in Long Beach. Swimmers were greeted at the finish line by JJCCC patients, families and supporters who came out for a special breakfast at The Boathouse on the Bay.

JJCCC provides comprehensive, family centered care to children with cancer, sickle cell disease and other serious blood disorders. JJCCC is known for its comprehensive psychosocial programs and multi-disciplinary approach to patient care. JJCCC improves outcomes, prevents complications and enhances the quality of life for children with cancer and serious blood disorders by integrating new clinical research efforts into treatment plans.

Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center patients, families and supporters prepare to greet the Long Beach firefighters, police officers and lifeguards with warm towels after the 28-mile long Catalina Swim Challenge.

Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center patients, families and supporters prepare to greet the Long Beach firefighters, police officers and lifeguards with warm towels after the 28-mile long Catalina Swim Challenge.

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