GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A swimmer who spends many of her mornings training at East Grand Rapids High School will soon take on the waters of Lake Huron to help fight breast cancer.
Amy Larson is preparing to take on a 25-mile swim between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas on July 26 to honor of her friend and fellow triathlete Kim Rapp. The two first became friends several years ago after bonding over triathlon training.
“When she called me with that diagnosis, it was just kind of a really hard hit,” Larson told 24 Hour News 8. “After seeing everything she went through and still counting down the days until she could get back on her bike and get back into the pool and start training again for her ironman really made me think, why don’t I do this in honor of her?”
Rapp took on a double mastectomy and hysterectomy to beat her breast cancer diagnosis. A mammogram found it at 42-years-old.
Now Larson hopes to raise $5,000 for the Betty Ford Breast Cancer Program.
“Kim’s ultimate goal is that she just really wants everyone to go in for those preventative checks, so ultimately the $5,000 goal is going to a really good cause right here in West Michigan and that just means a lot to me,” Larson added.
Larson expects to spend 12-13 hours in Lake Huron next month, but knows Rapp’s support will serve as continued motivation.
“Even though she was going through all of her treatment, all of her surgery, she was like, ‘Let me know what days you need me to kayak or sit on the beach or let’s meet up.’ I mean she never stopped supporting me or any of my friends,” she said. “She gives me motivation all the time.”
You can read more about Larson’s training and their friendship on her fundraising page.
A benefit dinner June 13 in Grand Haven will also support the cause.
Two days after Larson’s swim, Rapp will compete in her first Ironman since being diagnosed.