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More Fundraising

May 13, 2010

I can't rest on raising funds for 3rd Annual MacySwim for a Cure – In honor of Dr. Kathleen Macy. This time it is a jewelry fundraiser. Yep that is right. If you purchase some beautiful sterling silver jewelry that is lifetime guaranteed, all the proceeds will go to my $50k goal.

The jewelry is beautiful. Check out the catalog on  If you find something you love, just call or email Laura Farmer at or (360)256-4567.  Orders must be made through Laura and just tell her you are supporting Michelle Macy's fundraising goals. 

Thank you for your continued support and happy shopping!

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Fundraising underway

February 15, 2010

Three years ago I would have never imagined that I'd be using my swimming to raise money for breast cancer research.  Then of course in my typical type A personality trait, I had to set myself a fundraising goal.  I first considered $10,000.  I thought it sounded like a good round number and one that was definitely in reach.  However, part of setting goals is to push yourself beyond what you think your limit may be.  $10,000 was a nice goal, but I don't think it really pushed me outside my comfort goal.  What number really seemed audacious, one that I wasn't sure that I could reach…$50,000.  Yes, that seemed way out there for me. 

After I set this number, I started talking with my parents about it.  Did they think I could do it?  They thought it was a tough challenge and they really wanted me to think about whether I could really focus on fundraising, swimming, work and friends.  I thought about it and mainly I thought well this will be a challenge and isn't this is what it is about.  Besides this was for a really good cause and my mom had just been diagnosed.  My grandmother had passed away from the disease.  My aunt had successfully fought the disease and I spent a year as a lab technician doing breast cancer research.  I knew countless of other strong women, families and friends that had been touched by this disease.  Yep, this is what I wanted.  And I wanted to partner with the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.  This was where I worked as a lab technician doing breast cancer research.  I knew first hand the care they provided their patients and the tenacity that they had to find a cure.  Plus, they had another patient that was dear to me, my mother. 

Then became the challenge of actually fundraising.  I thought about a swim-a-thon, but that seemed out of my reach for now.  I began to focus on the fact that maybe people would donate to breast cancer research if I continued my swimming goals.  My mom thought this was a good idea, so we started planning.  Let's start with a letter to all the people we know.  Thus the 1st annual Macyswim was born.  That first year together with the help of so many generous people, we raised $5000.  Hmm, a good amount and I started to realize that it may take me 10 years to reach the $50,000 goal, but 10 years of swimming didn't seem so bad to me.

The 2nd annual Macyswim included my goal of the triple English Channel attempt.  Now the 2nd annual Macyswim for a Cure didn't quite go as planned, as you've read in previous posts.  However, the fundraising took a major move forward.  At the end of the swim year, we had raised the total to $20,000. 

When I began to think about the 3rd annual Macyswim for a Cure, I thought that maybe just maybe this was too much for me to take on.  Maybe my goal was too high.  Besides I was trying to figure out how to fundraise without the help of my mom.  My dad assured me that if I wanted to take a break from fundraising that everyone would still support me.  Heck raising $20k pretty much alone was an amazing thing and I should be proud of that and that my mom would be proud of it too.  But I had set a goal, I had to sit down and see if I was ready to put it on hold and focus more internally.  Ultimately I thought about my aunts, my mom's sisters, they don't get to take a break and decide whether they wanted to fight cancer.  There wasn't an option for me and they had the courage to continue on.  If they can do it, then so can I.  I started with the 3rd annual Macyswim for a Cure letter.  Again I've sent it out to all the people my family, my mom, friends.  Pretty much any one that I had a snail mail address.  Now rather than my mom helping me write the letter, stuff envelopes, and all the fundraising help.  I enlisted the help of my father.  He spent a whole Sunday stuffing envelopes.  He didn't even watch one football game.  YEA DAD!

Thank you to all that have donated so far.  And I've found that people have been doing some amazing things for me in the process.  First there are the monetary donations, which in these economic times mean so much to me.  Even the small $5 donations are helping move us closer to the $50k mark.  Secondly, people have become so creative.  I've received wonderful motivational messages returned to me in the envelope provided.  These notes help me to realize that I did make the right decision to continue fundraising.  And lastly, I had a friend who received my letter and she showed up at my house with a cooler food of homemade single serving meals.  She knew that my mother constantly traveled to Portland to spend a weekend cooking and ensuring that I had good nutrition to help achieve my goals.  My friend stuffed my freezer.  And I have to say that her chicken pot pie is delicious.  God I love butter! 

If you didn't receive a letter don't worry, you can still donate.  Just visit my donation page and it is all set up for you.  I intend to continue swimming until $50k is raised, so we are in this together and we are almost halfway to our goal. 

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Pennies, Nickels and Dimes. Come on everybody it’s FUNDRAISING TIME!!!

May 11, 2009

As many of you already know, 2008 saw the completion of my 1st annual MacySwim for a Cure.  It was a busy and wonderful swimming year.  It has also been a year in which I saw my mom successfully complete her cancer treatment and my young aunt, Mary, begin hers.  Now, I have two aunts who fight the disease along with my mom.  The fundraising I have done as a result of my swimming has been a great way for me to join them in this fight. 


Let me bring you up to date on my swimming from the 2008 – 1st annual Macyswim for a Cure. 


  • July 2008: Manhattan Island Marathon: 26 miles of very uniquely textured and tasting water in 7 hrs, 55 min and 31 secs.
  • August 2008: Boston Light Marathon:  8 miles.  In the last few miles, 2 men caught a better current than I and beat me to the finish.  I managed to pull in 3 and half minutes after them and placed first for the women.
  • August 2008: Pennock Island, Alaska: 8 miles of very, very cold water this year
  • August 2008: Alcatraz Challenge:  Katie (my sis) and I teamed up the swim-run event.  Katie ran across the Golden Gate Bridge after she took the wet ankle bracelet from me.  It was great to be together.
  • October 2008: Catalina Channel: 21 miles of night swimming in 10 hours and 12 minutes with no bumps from seals or other creatures.  I did have some company of a seal and a pod of dolphins for part of the swim.  No pictures though, bummer.


Now to 2009 – 2nd annual Macyswim for a Cure. 

  •  January 2009: Lake Taupo, New Zealand: 11 marathon swimmers descended on Lake Taupo New Zealand to swim the first ever triple crossing of the lake.  There were two teams; a 6 person women’s and a 5 person men’s team.  In total we had 1 USA, 2 New Zealand, 2 Great Britain, 6 Australia swimmers who came together to create new world records.  The women finished in 33 hrs and 33 minutes with the men finishing in 33 hrs and 31 minutes.  It was an amazing adventure.
  • June/July 2009: English Channel: Yep, you read that right.  I’m headed back this summer for my 2nd attempt at the channel.  Of course this year there are new goals and challenges to be achieved.
  • August 2009: Pennock Island, Alaska:  This is one of my favorite events and not one to be missed in my book.


People still ask: “why do you swim?”  My reason for swimming has not changed since my 1st annual MacySwim for a Cure.  I find joy and purpose in the water.  My swims, motivational speeches, and the 1st annual Macyswim for a Cure donations have helped me donate about $8,850 to the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center and Dr. Douglas Yee’s research on breast cancer.  Dr. Yee is my Mom’s doctor and I want him to find a cure for her and all of the others who are fighting this disease.  My goal is to continue to swim for the cure until I have raised $50,000 for this important research.

This is where you come in again.  Will you please donate at least $25.00 (more is accepted as well) this year in the 2nd annual Macyswim for the Cure cause?  You can do so in several ways:


Tax Deductible donation

·         Donate online to the Masonic Cancer Research Center at Cancer Center Online Donation.  On Step 2, please put “2nd annual Macyswim for a Cure” in the Memorial or Honorary Gift section.  This will help me keep track of how close we are coming to the $50,000 goal.


Non-tax deductible donation

·         Donate online on my website at .  Click the Make A Donation button.  Again I will submit these to the Cancer Center utilizing my company match. You will not receive a tax receipt for this donation.


I am honored by your support and humbled by the way you have helped me to make a positive difference with my life.

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October 3, 2008

Well the 2008 swim season is coming quickly to a close ending with Monday night’s Catalina Channel swim. I wanted to provide an update on the $50,000 goal for the Masonic Cancer Center of Minnesota to find a cure for breast cancer. We are well on our way to making a difference and I’m committed to these crazy swims until we all reach $50,000. To date we are at $5,100 with everyone’s donations and company match programs. This is a huge accomplishment and thank you to all of you that donated.

I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Douglas Yee and the wonderful staff of the Cancer Center as well as the Minnesota Medical Foundation. It was a great experience and I know that we are helping the cause. In fact, in these past few weeks the FDA has approved the breast cancer vaccination for human clinical tests. It is odd that this occurred almost one year to the date of my Channel swim and 10 years from the date that I worked in Dr. Jeffery Miller’s lab working on this same breast cancer vaccination.

To learn more about the Masonic Cancer Center of Minnesota and the great strides they are making in breast cancer and cancer research visit.

If you wish to make a donation, please see how on my donation page.

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More News

May 18, 2008

Ah yes another few weeks have slipped by and again I’m behind on postings.  In all fairness I feel like these weeks aren’t slipping by, they are running at me like a linebacker after a quarterback.  Most of the time I’m able to scramble and still get the pass off in time.  Other weeks I’m just another victim sacked at the bottom of the pile.  This weekend my mom has come out to Portland to help me get out from under the pile and hopefully back on track.  Thank goodness for moms.  I’m just happy to have a home cooked meal once this week!

Open water swimming continues and Tim has been a constant teammate by putting up with my training even when he doesn’t have to.  This weekend was a successful 3 hour swim on Saturday and a 1 hour 20 minute swim on Sunday.  This weekend also brought a pleasant surprise.  After a week of 70-90 degree weather, Hagg Lake jumped 10 degrees in temperature.  Last weekend we were swimming in 56 degrees and this weekend was a balmy 66 degrees.  That with the added sunshine and gorgeous weather made the swims very enjoyable.  Soon I’ll have to change location back out to Nehalem Bay to continue to get in the cold water training.

Some things that I have learned this season during training:

  • Having a training partner makes all the difference.  They can procrastinate with you for a little while and then get you right back on task.
  • The best $21.99 spent this season has been on a Solar Sun Shower.  I fill it with scalding hot water before leaving  the house, store it in a cooler to maintain temperature and then after a swim there is a nice warm shower to start the warming up process.
  • Sunscreen is still one of your best friends, don’t forget to use it! 

Fundraising is under way.  I sent out 110 letters requesting donations for the Macy Swim for a Cure 2008.  Macy Swim for a Cure is a way for me to dedicate my open water swims to aiding a good cause.   I’m committed to raising $50,000 (USD) through my swimming for the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.  Last year with the help of so many people, I was able to donate $2,500.  That leaves $47,500 to go and already I’m receiving such amazing support.  I will be updating my Donations page with the progress.  I would welcome any and all donations made through my website!  Like so many people have said “together we can make a difference.”

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Breast Cancer Donation

November 5, 2007

It has been awhile since I’ve made any posting.  I am letting my shoulders heal while I learn to run.  To all swimmers, be careful of the promises you make to others.  And, I’m not sure if anyone is still reading this, but there is something important that I have to say about my English Channel swim. 


During this whole process, I was overwhelmed by the support of friends, family and fellow swimmers.  At first this was a solo journey, and I learned from your comments that many of you joined me.  I surrendered to your kindness and love, and it was good.  I was even more taken aback when people started offering monetary donations.  I decided that if people were willing to put money towards my dream, I should use some of it and give some to others. In that way others’ dreams might be realized.  


Since breast cancer has been prevalent in my family and among my friends, it was the natural place to put additional monetary resources.  I also had worked as a lab care technician at the University of Minnesota towards a breast cancer cure before my IT life.  It was a cause that was near and dear to me…wait it wasn’t dear to me, it upset me and I wanted to do something to help fight the damn disease.   After a particular late August (August 23 to be exact) conversation with my mother,  I am fighting even harder.    


Two weeks before I left for England, my parents who live in Minnesota came to Portland to help me with my split Channel training.   They needed to learn how to make my food and I needed company on two very, very long days of training.  My mom came out early to help me with some incidentals like cleaning my house and making dinner.  I was living in a mess and eating boxed mac’ n cheese.  (Note:  This is not the ideal training diet).  One evening I was working particularly late and my mom kept pestering me to have a talk.  I thought the talk was going to be about what was for dinner or the weekend training schedule. I had not thought about either and only wanted to lounge in my chair and not think.  I finally finished my work, collapsed in my chair and surrendered to the “what’s for dinner?” talk.    And, Mom began talking softly:

Mom – “I have something to tell you.”

Me (thinking internally) – Odd way to start a dinner conversation.

Mom – “I went to the doctor last week.”

Me (still thinking internally) – What does this have to do with dinner?

Mom – “They ran some tests on a lump. I have breast cancer.  It will be OK Michelle.  It will be OK.”

Me (still confused about the ‘what’s for dinner conversation’) – “Excuse me?”

Mom – “I have cancer.”

Me…well basically there isn’t much to say I felt the jolt and I turned into a big puddle.  I was upset and angry and so very sad.  Mom’s aren’t supposed to get sick.  They are supposed to hold you when you cry; help you when you are sick; and, tell you they love you when you are being ugly and nasty, even after you have long since moved away.  They are the MOMs.  That’s their job!  I know it must have just killed my mom to tell my brother, sister and me that she was sick.   I know that she even debated about whether to tell me before the swim as I was soon to leave for England.  She didn’t want me to concentrate on her illness when I had to focus on the mental challenge of the Channel. 

I’m glad she told me as swimming is my way of dealing with issues.  And heck, I was going to have plenty of time to battle not only the Channel, but also my mom’s news.  As you all know, the Channel swim went very well and my crew did well too.  Mom is strong and determined.


Since returning from England, I’ve been researching breast cancer foundations.  There are many with some being very large.  However, I knew that I wanted the money to go to a smaller organization that focused on breast cancer research.  Turns out I didn’t have to look very far.  My old employer the University of Minnesota Cancer Center is just that place.  I knew from working there that they were respected in the research community.  They are one of 39 research facilities recognized by the National Cancer Institute.  I knew first hand that they respected and treated their patients as individuals.   Besides now my mom was one of their patients. 


Of the $2000.00 raised from your donations for my swim, I have donated $1250.00 to the University of Minnesota Cancer Center to be earmarked for breast cancer research.   With the my company match, the center will receive a total $2500.00 for research.  The remainder of your generous donations were used to cover some of the the costs of my crew during the England stay.  


Thank you to everyone for your donations.  With your help, we will make a difference. 


For more information about the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, please visit their website


P.S.  My mom’s prognosis is very good.  She has a great doctor and a great attitude.  I believe that she will make good on her promise to alternately make my life miserable and hold me for a very long time…something that I’m looking forward to every minute. 

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