CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -- An incredible woman’s journey to find a cure for terminal breast cancer has her swimming in lakes all across the country.
“It was like a little catch. I was a teacher prior to this life and you have to have like a hook to get people interested in what you’re teaching about. And swimming was my hook,” Mary Gooze said swimming is a way to relieve stress and refocus.
“I think getting in the water and feeling that sensation of floating through space and you can kind of forget the problems,
But Saturday, after Mary was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, jumping in the lake and going for a swim began to mean so much more.
“With all the money raised for breast cancer, less than 7% goes to metastatic research, and that’s the cancer that kills us, and so I just said, ‘We need to make people aware,” Gooze said.
So Mary and her husband came up with “One Woman, Many Lakes,” a campaign that creates awareness and raises money for metastatic breast cancer research; beginning in a small boat and swimming in 54-degree water.
“When we got on shore, a man stopped me and asked, ‘What are you doing?’ And we had our little homemade sign. I explained it to him and he said, ‘Well, I’ll write a check.’ That’s kind of how we thought well maybe this will work. Maybe if we do get attention, maybe people will give us money,” Gooze said.
And while Mary says the funding for today’s research may not help her, her mission looks to the future.
It may not be enough time for me and I realize that, but I have a daughter and tears and I don’t want her to face this disease.
And allows her to keep doing what she loves.
“Sometimes when I swim, I can just focus on swimming and not worrying about it, but this is a good way. This whole advocacy has been a way for me to be active and be proactive,” Gooze said.
Saturday was Mary’s 34th swim and she says she hopes it doesn’t stop there and there are many swims to come.