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Solo swim of New England’s coast for kids with cancer

Fred Brooke, 63, of Lyme, Conn., is continuing his epic 850-mile, solo swim from New York to Canada – which will complete his goal in the 12th annual AngelSwim New England, which raises money for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Swimming part of the way each summer, Brooke expects to complete this goal in August 2014 and hopes to be the first person to swim the entire New England coast. It is believed this has never been done before.

On July 26, Brooke will start from Schoodic Point, Maine, and swim across Canada’s border at Campobello Island. Swimming six hours per day, over eight consecutive days, he will cover approximately 58 miles.

He is accompanied by his partner and kayak support, Lynn McCarthy, and additional support boats captained by Mike Sturges of Vermont and Bob Turner of Conn., and will stop approximately every half-hour for nourishment and medical evaluation.

Throughout the journey, Brooke will meet extremely tough challenges – frigid water, steep ocean swells, fog and strong tidal currents and 20-foot tidal changes.

“All the young cancer victims I have met remained so strong, so positive and so optimistic in the face of such traumatic circumstances. I guess that was the beginning of it all,” Brooke said. “These children invited me into their world and I dove in head first. Why am I attempting to swim the coast of New England? For the same reason we delight in having our presents opened on Christmas morning — it just feels selfishly good to give.”

AngelSwim began in 2002 as a way to support a local girl, Angel Uihlein, and her family during her treatment for ALL, leukemia. In 2003, Brooke began swimming the coast of New England as a means to raise money and awareness for more children battling cancer. AngelSwim has provided financial assistance to families from Connecticut to Maine.

Brooke started distance swimming at age 50 when he swam six miles across Buzzards Bay. Based upon the support he received from that event, Brooke saw swimming as a means to help others. The next year he dedicated his swim across Long Island Sound from New York to Connecticut to helping 11 year-old Uihlein. 

“These are wonderfully brave and positive kids who face each day with a quiet determination and depth of spirit that is almost unimaginable. Please help me make their struggle a little more tolerable with a donation to the AngelSwim,” Brooke said.

To sponsor Brooke and help kids with cancer, please send your tax-deductible contribution to the AngelSwim New England, PO Box 1013, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or donate on-line: