Young swimmer prepares for next cancer fundraising event

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CUMMING, Ga. — Last year, 11-year-old Griffin Egolf swam 500 meters in the open water of Lake Lanier for a fundraiser with the names of cancer victims and survivors marked in Sharpie on his body.

Out of $39,557 raised from all participants in Olympian Eric Shanteau’s Swim for Your Life challenge in 2013, Egolf raised $2,735.

Egolf is anxious to give back using his passion for being in the water as he prepares for September’s challenge and hitting the $3,000 mark this year.

“This event means more to me then any event on deck,” Egolf said.

His mother, LeeAnn Egolf, said he took fifth place in the 50-meter breaststroke at the Southeastern sectionals this year. He is a fourth-grader at Kelly Mill Elementary and swims for Cumming’s Aquatic Center.

After losing his 12-year-old schoolmate Lilly Anderson to a rare form of cancer, Egolf was inspired to join fundraising efforts for the annual swim challenge.

Egolf’s idea to write the names of other affected by cancer on his body went viral after a photo session with photographer Marianne Nash.

Egolf has asked for those interested in seeing names Sharpied on his body this year to reach out to him along with their donations.

“Remember, no amount is too little,” his mother said. “Every dollar is graciously appreciated.”

The event will be held on Sept. 20 at Lake Lanier Islands, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Livestrong organization supporting programs and services for cancer survivors.

For more information, visit www.livestrong.org/fundraising/griffinegolf.

FH 05-28-14