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Team raises funds

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Photo provided The DeKalb-Sycamore co-op girls swimming team last weekend raised money for the Cure for Grace Fund, which originally was created to help support former teammate Grace Waller throughout her cancer treatments. Members of the team are: back row (left to right): Erin Dewitt, Rachael West, Sam LeBlanc, Katie Arndt, Bailey Flemming; middle row (left to right): Kate Barresi, Jensen Keck, Kylie Olson, Holly Baker, Ana Flavia Michelini, Colette LeBlanc; Front: Edith Reynolds; Not Pictured: Kylee Ackland

The DeKalb-Sycamore co-op swimming team last weekend honored former swimmer Grace Waller.

The team completed 20 500-yard swims, representing the 20 rounds of chemotherapy Waller endured throughout her treatment for osteosarcoma.

Waller, now swimming at Oakland University in Michigan, holds five varsity and five pool records at DeKalb, most of which were set during her freshman and sophomore seasons.

After surgery, Waller no longer could swim the individual medley and breaststroke, but managed to set the 500 free record after her recovery.

“Grace’s record in the 500 freestyle is a testament to her inner strength, drive and determination to not only win the fight against cancer, but to persevere to achieve her goals,” co-op coach Leah Eames said. “In her final swim, she broke the record that she had been eyeing since her freshman year.”

The co-op’s swim raised money for the Cure for Grace Fund, which originally was created to help support Waller throughout her cancer treatments.

Waller has been cancer-free for three years and the fund now contributes to organizations dedicated to cancer research, prevention and treatment. It also aims to increase the qualify of life of cancer patients. Recently, the fund purchased iPads for cancer patients on the pediatric floor of the Rush Memorial Children’s Hospital.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort and excitement the girls have brought to the fundraiser,” Eames said. “The team collected donations prior to their swim and will continue to collect throughout the month of November.”

Donations can be sent to DeKalb Athletics (Attn: Coach Leah Eames) at 501 W. Dresser Road, DeKalb, IL 60115.

Checks can be made payable to the Cure for Grace Fund.

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