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Fighting breast cancer one stroke at a time

Michelle Macy’s swim across the English Channel last year raised money for breast cancer research at the University.

Michelle Macy grew up swimming. “I probably started swimming before I could walk,” says the Minnesota native who now lives in Beaverton, Oregon, and works for Nike, Inc. A competitive swimmer in high school and college, she set a personal goal to swim the English Channel.

When her mother, Kathleen Macy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2007—two weeks before Macy was to leave for Europe—her goal became something bigger: a mission to raise money to fight the disease.

Before moving to Oregon in 2005, Macy worked as a lab technician on a breast cancer vaccine study at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. Her mother later became a patient at the center, where she continues to receive cancer treatment.

“This has been challenging for our family,” says Michelle, whose grandmother and two aunts have also battled breast cancer.

When Macy began training for the 21-mile swim across the Channel, people started sending her donations. She decided to donate half of the money she raised to the Masonic Cancer Center. Since she completed the swim in September 2007, Macy has swum competitively around the country with the goal of raising $50,000 for breast cancer research at the University.

Nike has provided matching donations, and several other sponsors have contributed to her cause as well. Says Macy, “It’s a way for me to honor my family and friends who are and have been courageous in their fight against breast cancer.”

To learn more about Macy’s accomplishment and her goals, visit To support the Masonic Cancer Center, contact Kathy Beenen at 612-625-6495 or, or give online at

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