FAIRFIELD, Conn (WTNH)–It’s been a tradition for 29 years.
The St. Vincent’s swim across the sound is set to kick off again Saturday July 30thth.
This year, the event takes on special meeting for a group police officers from Fairfield.
It’s a 15.5 miles swim from Port Jefferson Long Island to the finish at Captains Cove in Bridgeport.
The marathon swim will likely take over 8 hours for the team from Fairfield, fighting frigid temps and choppy waters.
“We are representing the family of one of our officers who is struggling at this time,” said Lt. Robert Kalamaras. Fairfield, P.D
The police family, helping the family of Sargent Michael Paris.
Paris’ wife was recently diagnosed with cancer at 32 years old.
“She was healthy, no other medical problems. It was just a fluke thing that we found something, acted on it immediately, took the steps and discovered it was cancer,” said Paris.
Ultimately the officers are just a few of many swimming for a cause.
The St. Vincent’s swim across the sound raises money and support for cancer patients, stepping in when insurance falls short, or helping the uninsured.
“The funds from the marathon will pay for a mortgage payment possibly, a utility payment – camp for a single mom going for chemo and radiation,” said Lyn McCarthy – Executive Dir. St. Vincent Medical Center Foundation.
The mission is to help cancer patients focus on their recovery, through a cancer journey that can be daunting and draining.
Much like the swim.
It’s a challenge the officers didn’t think twice about.
I know it’s not going to be easy but I know it doesn’t compare to the struggle that mike and his family are going through and I am happy to do it,” said Lt. Robert Kalamaras.
Support that gives the Paris family strength
“To think that these guys are doing this in memory and honor of my wife…it really touches ya,” said Paris.
The St. Vincent’s swim across the sound is in great need of 30 foot or larger boats and their captains to help escort swimmers across the sound.
If you would like to help, you can find the information here: