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Merck Makes $3 Million Charitable Donation to Support Swim Across America

To help support innovation in cancer research, Kenilworth-based Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced that the company will make a $3 million charitable contribution to Swim Across America. Established 30 years ago, Swim Across America, a national nonprofit organization, was founded with the purpose of granting the proceeds from its benefit swims to fund cancer research and clinical trials.

“Every 15 minutes, 50 Americans are diagnosed with cancer,” said Rob Butcher, CEO of Swim Across America. “The good news is that there is hope for more Americans to become survivors than ever before, and Swim Across America’s commitment to finding new cures and treatments has been an important catalyst for that progress. We are going to apply Merck’s contribution to better support our existing benefit swims and add new ones with a goal of funding $100 million into cancer research and clinical trials in the next decade.”

In further support of Merck’s mission of inventing for life, the company will look to complete its own “swim across America” by establishing Merck-sponsored teams at benefit swim events. Merck will kick off its participation at the first 2018 Swim Across America event to be held in Tampa, Florida.

“Merck is committed to advancing research and to giving more families hope in the fight against cancer, and we know that that progress can only come from many people and organizations doing their part,” said Jill DeSimone, senior vice president, U.S. Oncology, Merck. “Swim Across America has created a program that has inspired thousands of Americans, including many Merck employees, to participate in their benefit swims with the proceeds funding cancer research and clinical trials. We know this contribution will help them do even more to fight cancer.”

Since its inception, Swim Across America has granted $70 million toward cancer research. Additionally, more than 100 Olympians have donated their time attending Swim Across America benefit swims and hospital visits.

“I was at our first swim when we raised $5,000,” said Craig Beardsley, a 1980 Olympian and Swim Across America supporter of 30 years. “The Swim Across America mission is a testimony to the human spirit of coming together to try to solve a problem that has affected nearly everyone. Merck’s contribution is going to allow us to speed up our ability to add more swims so we can fund even more research projects.”

Swim Across America currently hosts benefit swims in Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte, NC; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Greenwich, Conn.; Kiawah, SC; Long Island, NY; Nantucket, Mass.; Rhode Island; San Francisco; Seattle; St. Louis and Tampa, Fla.

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