It is nearly impossible to find anyone whose life has not been touched by cancer, whether it is through a friend, family member, or even a teammate. The swimmers at Beloit College have found one more way to fight back: the fifth-annual Ted Mullin “Leave it in the Pool” Hour of Power Relay for Pediatric Sarcoma Research, sponsored by the Carleton College swimming and diving teams, set for Tuesday, afternoon.
The Buccaneer Swimming & Diving team joins with nearly 6,000 athletes from 124 collegiate, high school, and club teams across the nation—as well as students-abroad teams—to participate in the “Hour of Power,” honoring those who are fighting or have succumbed to cancer, including former Carleton swimmer Edward H. “Ted” Mullin, who passed away from synovial sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer, in September 2006.
As of Nov. 3, 2010, a total of 89 collegiate swimming programs encompassing 37 conferences had registered to take part in this year’s event. The event includes programs from NCAA Division I, II and III. Additionally, 35 club, high school, and students-abroad teams will participate.
The event—held in each team’s home pool—is a one-hour, all-out, leave-it-in-the-pool practice consisting of continuous relays, using any stroke. Wherever possible participating teams begin and finish the “Hour of Power” workout at the same time, using their respective and corresponding time zones from the East Coast to the West Coast. This means thousands of swimmers will be in the water at the same time in support of the battle against cancer. Although some teams are forced to schedule their event at another time due to various conflicts, the official start time is set for 4 p.m., Central Standard Time today (Tuesday).
First held in 2006, the “Hour of Power” Relay has grown from 15 teams the first year to its current level of participation noted above. Since the event began four years ago, participants raised more than $190,000 for the Ted Mullin Fund for Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital where Ted received treatment. The “Hour of Power” also aims to promote team spirit and to generate awareness of sarcoma, a rare cancer that disproportionately affects adolescents and young adults.
Funds raised during the event act as seed funding for the University of Chicago pediatric sarcoma research program, allowing collaborative efforts between clinicians and physician-scientists in the identification of the causes of sarcoma, at the most basic molecular and cellular levels. With a team of dedicated pediatric oncologists, orthopedists, and radiation therapists in place, the Ted Mullin Fund enabled the University of Chicago to recruit Stephen X. Skapek, M.D., an expert in the study and treatment of sarcomas. Dr. Skapek and team are working in the lab to translate new scientific discoveries into improved therapies for sarcoma patients like Ted Mullin.
Interested college, high school and club teams are invited to register for the 2011 “Hour of Power” and find more information at http://go.carleton.edu/HourOfPower. You can also contact Carleton College head coach Andy Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rick Mullin at email@example.com.