Appleton teenager swimming across Lake Winnebago to raise funds for leukemia and lymphoma

The 16 year old’s goal is to raise $50,000
Ian Ridlehoover, 16, of Appleton is planning to swim across Lake Winnebago in June to raise...
Ian Ridlehoover, 16, of Appleton is planning to swim across Lake Winnebago in June to raise funds for leukemia and lymphoma.(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 3, 2021 at 3:49 PM CDT
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STOCKBRIDGE HARBOR, Wis. (WBAY) - Ian Ridlehoover was in Stockbridge Saturday looking at his next challenge.

“So I think the best way to do it is to have one of the boats go right in front of me, and I would follow that boat,” the 16 year old said.

The Appleton East High School junior is planning to swim 10 miles from Oshkosh to Stockbridge in the hopes of bringing attention to leukemia and lymphoma.

Both are blood cancers and he’s aiming to raise $50,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“A medical career I’m interested in…is oncology, which is like cancer doc[tor]. It actually worked out perfectly with what I’m trying to do in the future,” Ridlehoover of Appleton said.

He is trying to accomplish this feat before the algae on Lake Winnebago blooms and after the water gets warm. Ridlehoover is currently preparing for it by continuing to swim, especially in open water.

Ridlehoover expressed to Action 2 News that what worries him the most about open water is the current, weather, and waves.

“I have a lot of experience doing open water swims, but this one would be triple the distance of anything I’ve done before, which is a big jump,” Ridlehoover said.

The 16-year-old has been swimming competitively since he was 8 and previously swam in the San Francisco Bay in 2019 in the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim.

He doesn’t encourage others to swim across Lake Winnebago without extensive training and assistance from others.

Ridlehoover tentatively scheduled the swim for June. His mother is proud with what he’s chosen to do on his free time.

“This is long but we’ll be with him supporting him on a boat, so honestly we’re not terribly nervous about it,” Annika Ridlehoover said.

If you’re interested in helping Ian Ridlehoover reach his fundraising goal, here’s a link to where you can donate:

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