Kimberly Stevens, from Evanston, plans to swim in her fourth Swim Across America (SAA) race on July 20 at Oak Street Beach, Chicago. The event raises money for cancer research, prevention and treatment. Swimmers must raise $500 to participate in the ½-mile, 1 mile, 1.5 mile or 3 mile course.

Ms. Stevens’ first SAS race was in 2008 with Team Hawkeye, comprised of current and past swimmers from the University of Iowa. Team Hawkeye placed third in overall fundraising. Later that year she swam in the Masters Nationals swim meet where she won eight medals.

Ms. Stevens participates in SAA not only because of her love for swimming, but also because she has  a very personal connection. Her father had head and neck cancer and her grandmother and grandfather both died of cancer. In 2010, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and after surgery and radiation treatment had a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. Her doctor told her that she would probably not be able to swim ever again.

Kimberly was determined to prove her doctor wrong. In July 2011, she placed second in the nationals. She recently won the 100 Meter freestyle in a state meet and plans on going to the worlds in Montreal in 2014.