In the swim for a cause

Fundraiser started by a 12-year-old is still going strong

When is a fundraiser more than simply a fundraiser?

When that fundraiser starts as a 4-H citizenship project by a 12-year-old.

That 12-year-old was then-sixth-grader Morgan Border, of Fort Dodge, who thought that swimming would be one good way to help raise money for the breast cancer awareness and cure cause.

She was 12 more than five years ago.

Since then, Border, through her 4-H project that is now a well-recognized annual event — Stay A-Breast — has brought star athletes to Fort Dodge, united people in the fight against breast cancer, and raised more than $50,000.

She is now 17 and a junior at St. Edmond High School.

Despite this success, she remains humble.

“It is important to me because I’ve learned how helping others can make such a big difference,” Border said recently. “Two people have found lumps in their breast through being reminded at Stay A-Breast. Raising the money always helps someone, but showing people that you care has such a huge impact too.”

At the event, swimmers can make flat donations, collect per lap pledges, or swim to show their support.

“Breast cancer survivors count the laps and it’s very encouraging for them to see everyone swim for the cause,” Border said.

Funds raised from the event are split evenly between the American Cancer Society for research and patient treatment and the Trinity Cancer Center for treatment travel expenses, medicines, co-pays and things not covered by insurance for cancer patients.

This year, Stay A-Breast is on Saturday at the Fort Dodge Senior High swimming pool. The event will run from 10 a.m. to noon.

We all know someone impacted by breast cancer, whether we realize it or not. That is the staggering reality of its frequency.

In 2019, according to the Susan G. Komen organization, it’s estimated that among U.S. women there will be:

• 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer;

• 62,930 new cases of in situ breast cancer;

• 41,760 breast cancer deaths

Though rare, breast cancer does occur in men. In 2019, according to the Susan G. Komen organization, it’s estimated among U.S. men there will be:

• 2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer;

• 500 breast cancer deaths.

Morgan Border has been hailed as a hero for her commitment to Stay A-Breast.

But she doesn’t see herself in that light.

Instead, she views the people who are diagnosed with breast cancer as her heroes, whether they battle and beat it or not.

Hers is a perspective we admire, and her humility is the kind to which we should all aspire.


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