Olympians Come to Oakland to Fight Cancer

By Cheryl Hurd
|  Saturday, Oct 3, 2009  |  Updated 3:37 PM PDT
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Olympians Come to Oakland to Fight Cancer

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Olympic swimmer Craig Beardsley was in Oakland Friday to help fight cancer.

Olympic swimmers who experienced the race for the gold are coming together to raise money for cancer research for children.

The team is called Swim Across America and Friday they were at Children's Hospital in Oakland.

Juan Garcia has been a patient at Children's Hospital of Oakland for two and a half months. The bad news is he has leukemia but the good news is he's getting better.

"I'm feeling better," Garcia said. "(I'm) suppose to be like three kemo's I've already finished the second one ready for the third one so I can get a bone marrow transplant."

When you're going through something like this, it's good when people come to lift your spirits. That lift this week cames from Olympian swimmers who are raising money for cancer research.

"When you come here you can see the children going through their treatments walking around with IV's, see their parents and what they're dealing with, it's rough," said US National Champion Craig Beardsley.

Dr. Joe Torikildson is the director of nuro oncology at the hospital.

"A child of cancer was essentially a death sentence back in the 1950s," Torikildson said. "In 2006 it was announced that 75 percent of children with cancer would be cured of their disease."

That progress he say was made possible due to funding for cancer research.

Swim Across America has been raising money for Oakland's Children's Hospital for four years. This year they hope to raise $300,000."

The money will go to help people like Juan Garcia.

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