Curing Leukemia...One Stroke at a Time!


Each one of the 50 miles is dedicated to the listed honoree below.  The boat crews will read the dedication to the swimmers at scheduled feedings.  Ray and Elaine will reflect on each dedication during the next mile and be inspired by the courage and strength of the honorees' story.  Thanks to the honorees for sharing their stories and to their sponsors.  To sponsor and dedicate a mile to someone, go to the Ways to Donate page.

Due to the overwhelming support and sponsoring of miles, we are doubling up beginning at Mile 1.  All "Extra Mile" sponsors and honorees will be recognized by the boat crews and by Ray & Elaine during the swim.  Thanks to all for the generosity, the remembrance & celebration of life, and for Going the Extra Mile!


Mile 1 Sponsors - Shirl Mitchell, Eugene Egan, Catherine Banbury & Peter Robertson

Extra Mile 1 Sponsor - Michael & Rose Hawman

Mile 1 HonoreeBernie Mitchell (of Hawkesbury, Ontario)  - remembered a

s an absolutely adoring husband and loving father of 7. He was funny, intelligent, giving and kind.


Mile 2 Sponsors - Anthony & Rita Gizzarelli, Frank & Ann Nappi

Mile 2 Honorees The Gizzarelli, Celio and Nappi families

Extra Mile 2 Sponsor - Anonymous Donor

Extra Mile 2 Honoree in memory of Sean Buckley


Mile 3 Sponsor - Anonymous Donor

Mile 3 Honoree Fallon Reilly, DOB: 5/11/91, Diagnosis: Hodgkin's Lymphoma stage 2B, Date of Diagnosis: 1/18/10, In remission as of August 20, 2010!

The following information represent portion's of Fallon's experience in her own words:
What were the symptoms that led you to the doctor? I seriously believe the whole thing started with a sneeze the day before my last final of the Fall 09 semester. I hadn't been sick the entire semester although I was constantly tired (something that wasn't like me at all) and that one sneeze quickly escalated to flu-like symptoms all through Christmas week of 2009. .....I was rushed to the ER after my mother forced me out of bed since I'd been sleeping 3 days straight on bed-rest. She told me to get out of bed and the second I did, my face went numb and dropped on the left side and she began to notice I was carrying my left arm as a chicken wing.

Before we got to the ER my doctor rushed an order for an Xray...from that x-ray they saw the large-mass tumor (I believe the biggest it got was between 9 and 10 cm) encompassing my heart and putting pressure on my lungs. Which would explain all the chest pain I had all semester but ignored because I thought I was just out of shape even though I had lost about 20 lbs while on campus that fall. My doctor knew right away what it was, Hodgkins, but no one told me. My mom came to my bed and took away my cellphone and I was so mad until I saw she'd been crying. I knew something was wrong. REALLY wrong. My mom never cries but she patted my head and said I'd be staying at the hospital for a while because they found something in my chest.

What was the course of action for treatment & the prognosis? Before starting treatment, my doctors told me all of the risks involved and what chemo entailed. ... but now I am happy to say I am cancer-free and doctors are hopeful that it will stay that way, but I do checkups every 3 months to be sure I'm healthy.  I already have pretty much a guarantee of Heart Disease in my future because of all of the chemo but if I eat healthy I can avoid it for longer.

Do you have any additional information that you would like to share with our fundraising volunteers? I'm currently a sophomore at URI getting my bachelor's in Fine Art and Art History. I hope to do an exhibit senior year incorporating cancer and the fight we all go through. This experience changed my life and I want to spread the word as best I can. I'm also a member of WOWW at URI, its a freshman women mentoring program (think soroity minus the stereotypical hazing and “rush” period) and actually one of the new freshman finished chemo 2 days after I did and we bonded so much because of it. I hope she becomes my little.

Extra Mile 3 Sponsor - Ann Marie Rakovic

Extra Mile 3 Honoree Barbara Rocke & daughter Jessica - Hi Elaine, I just made my mile donation in honor of a family member, Barbara Rocke, who is battling cancer. She is the most courgeous person I know in the world and is fighting for her life. I also want to honor her daughter Jessica, my niece, who has been caring for her mom with unfailing dedication and has hope as wide as the Bay you are going to swim.


Mile 4 Sponsor - Anonymous Donor

Mile 4 Honoree Nick - everyone has their own story. Ours is of a beautiful little boy, born healthy and strong. Then, when Nickolas was only three years old, he started getting sick. At first we just thought that it was because of the “new germ pool” at pre-school. It started with Bronchitis, then double ear infections, strep throat…normal kid things. We really didn’t think much of it. Then the fevers started. Bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Unexplained joint pain. Test after test after test…the doctors just couldn’t figure it out. When they had ruled everything out that they thought it could possibly be, we were left with the diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). When we researched the disease, Nick seemed like a textbook case. We had no doubts that this is what he actually had. Little did we know that a battle was raging inside of our little boy’s body. He had already begun the fight of his life. His body was fighting so hard, that he was masking the true culprit from all of us…Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
Nick was so sick when we were given the news that beautiful summer day in August of 2005, the day that would forever change our lives. He was running a continual fever, he couldn’t walk, and he was crying out in pain constantly. He would have surgery the next day to implant a port-a-cath which would be used to deliver the chemotherapy that would kill the cancer cells and ultimately save his life. A complication arose during the surgery though, and Nick was transported to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit). Nick almost died that night. As a doctor ushered us out of the room, he said, “We are going to do everything we can to give him a fighting chance.” Those words will forever be ingrained in my mind.
Nick pulled through, and we knew from that point on that he was going to make it. He was a fighter. If he could make it through that, he could make it through anything. There is something to be said of being four years old and having cancer. He didn’t know that he had a life-threatening disease. He didn’t know to be scared. All that he knew was that these wonderful people were going to make him better.
1,156 days after his initial diagnosis, Nick finished his chemotherapy regime. On the outside, he is just like any other third grade boy. He loves soccer, basketball, baseball, and swimming. He loves being with his friends at school, playing with his brother Jake, or spending time with his new kitten, Bob. On the inside though, I hope that he is going to be a little different. I hope that this journey will make him a stronger person. I hope that this will in some way impact his life in a positive way. He is very loving and caring and empathetic. My hope is that he would have been all of these things even if he had never had leukemia, but I also hope that the leukemia had something to do with it. I don’t think that you can battle something every day for three and a half years and not have it impact who you are. Always look for the positive. Always look for that bright star. There is no feeling sorry for yourself. We are the lucky ones…our baby is still here. He had a chance to fight the fight, and HE WON!!!!!! We all won!!!
Darlene Williams

Extra Mile 4 Sponsor - UTCFS iService Team (Narayan Tavildar, Marcus Tinnin, Satya Padala, Kamal Natarajan, Jonathan Doucette) 

Extra Mile 4 Honoree Jayarama Rao Tanjore.  "In memory of a caring and loving father and a gentle soul…”


Mile 5 Sponsor - Anonymous Donor

Mile 5 Honoree - Arieana Carcieri - For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Arieana Carcieri. About six months ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I have completed four and a half months of chemotherapy and have one and a half months left to finish.”

Arieana finished her degree at URI in Nutrition and Dietetics this past May but her life changed on August 23, 2010 when she was diagnosed with cancer. Although Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has put her plans to begin her two year Dietetic Internship and Master’s Program on hold, it hasn’t stopped Arie from becoming active in the fight against cancer.

In October Arie joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk with ’Team Arie’ and raised over $3,000 for the LLS! She has her sights on the Team In Training program this summer and wants to celebrate life by participating in an endurance event!

Last week Arie’s doctors gave her amazing news, she is now officially ‘cancer free’. Now that the end of treatment is in sight she’ll have many new adventures to plan.

“Being a part of Team In Training has given me the strength I need to get through this last stretch of my treatment with my head held high. I am greatly looking forward to the physical and mental strength I will gain from this experience, the friendships I will form with other team members and most importantly, supporting a wonderful cause.”

Extra Mile 5 Sponsor - Bill Paine & Denise Plante

Extra Mile 5 Honoree - Rita Messier  - who passed away in 2004 due to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I (Denise Plante) am a breast cancer survivor. I just finished raising over $6,500 for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life with the help of my co-workers, friends and family. We are the number 1 team for contributions for all the Relays in RI. The MetLife teams raised well over $20,000!!!!  Thanks for helping to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.


Mile 6 Sponsor - Anonymous Donor

Extra Mile 6 Sponsor - UTCFS IT Team - Lynn Miller, Chris Bailey, Ken & Beth Young, Shashank & Anubha Srinivasamurthy, Steve & Kim Rauch

Mile 6 Honoree Chezney, a vibrant seven year old survivor of T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Chezney was diagnosed in August of 2005 and kept strong and positive as a tumor in her thymus was treated with both chemo and radiation. Chezney went through several blood transfusions during treatment and lost all of her hair. Her family gathered to support Chezney’s journey and her mother mentions that ‘Even despite the battle she went through Chezney always kept a beautiful smile on her face’. To celebrate eight months of her daughter’s remission, mother Yolanda Da Silva participated in the 2008 Cox Providence Rhode Races with Team In
Training and her daughter cheered her on!

After triumphing over cancer, Chezney is a typical seven-year old! She loves the Disney Channel, Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers, her favorite Disney Princesses are Sleeping Beauty and the Little Mermaid. The whole family even made a special trip to Walt Disney World with the Make A Wish program! Chezney loves Chinese food, playing dress up, singing and dancing, playing with her cousins and even started taking gymnastics classes last week!

We hope Chezney inspires you across the finish line!


Mile 7 Sponsor - Anonymous Donor

Extra Mile 7 Sponsor - Jim Girard

Mile 7 Honoree Louis Giardini (Cumberland, RI) - Diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2000.

Louis was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 8 years ago during an annual physical. Luckily, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute was able to treat Louis with a wide variety of treatments including chemo, radiation and even a stem cell transplant. Louis seemed to be overcoming NHL until May 2007 when he learned that his Lymphoma had returned with a vengeance. He learned that he now had multiple large tumors in his abdomen and chest. His fight was going to begin again. Although he had received discouraging news, Louis continued to train with the team and even raced in the America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Lake Tahoe.

This past Winter and Spring Louis went through six more cycles of chemotherapy. To his excitement, Louis learned recently from his doctor that he was in “complete remission”. He will still receive a treatment of the drug Zevalin and had another biopsy in June to make sure that all of the cancer cells are eradicated from his bone marrow.

Louis stated at the kick off party in January, “A new chapter has unfolded. For me, once I came to terms with my diagnosis I came to look at cancer as a blessing. Cancer or any major illness helps you see what is truly important in life. Everything snaps into focus pretty quickly. Your priorities change, you think about everything differently. You are different. You’re fighting for your life.”

Mile 8 Sponsor - Anonymous Donor

Extra Mile 8 Sponsor - Eric Schold

Mile 8 Honoree Kevin Bowen (Bristol, RI)
Kevin is a dear friend of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Co-Chairing the Light the Night Team “Team Raytheon For Life”. Kevin has a Master of Science degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has lived all over the US and in Europe and Japan. Kevin enjoys tennis, kayaking, windsurfing and scuba and volunteers for the Bristol 4th of July Celebration.
Kevin is also survivor of stage 4 lymphoma. After his diagnoses in 1988, Kevin read an article that inspired his fight against cancer.
The article was about Karl Nelson, a NY Giants Football Player and his diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease.  Kevin has saved that article for 20 years and it reads in part: “Nelson was asked yesterday about handling his diagnoses, and the advice he would give to others about handling it. ‘The way I figure it is: What are you going to do? The biggest thing you have to do is not say... Why Me? You have to say...Okay, I’ve got it. What do I have to do to get better? Ask your doctors what you have to do, and believe it. Believe in your doctors. If you go into treatment saying… I don’t think this is really going to work, I believe there is a better chance of it not working than working. I believe if you have a more positive attitude, it will help you more.’”


Mile 9 Sponsor - Lou & Elaine D'Alise

Mile 9 Honoree Domonic & Katherine D'Alise

Extra Mile 9 Sponsor - Sue Smith, Denny Rinkacs, Jack Carr, RI Freemasons Hope Lodge #25, Tony Justice

Extra Mile 9 Honoree Emily Smith - is 12 years old. On 2/8/11 Emily had most of L3 removed and rods put in her back for what the doctors thought was a benign tumor. They sent the tumor to the lab and on 2/11/11 she was diagnosed with Large B Cell Lymphoma. She is currently in treatment and is an inspiration to everyone.


Mile 10 Sponsor - Ray & Anita Gandy

Mile 10 Honoree Genina Edith Gandy - remembered as a wonderful and loving mother, mother-in-law and grandmother.  While she didn't live long enough to see her grandchildren grow, finish school, marry, have children, etc., she loved her family very deeply and it showed each and every day.  She loved reading and speaking with her grandkids.

Extra Mile 10 Sponsor - Chuck LoCurto

Extra Mile 10 Honoree Rhonda, Krista & Brianna LoCurto


Mile 11 Sponsor - Ray & Anita Gandy

Mile 11 Honoree Raymond Cornelius Gandy - lived a long and happy life until age 92.  The "first" of three Raymonds, he will be remembered as a caring and loving father, father-in-law and grandfather.  He enjoyed going to events of his grandchildren and telling stories of days gone by. 

Extra Mile 11 Sponsor - Chuck LoCurto

Extra Mile 11 Honoree Charles F. LoCurto, Sr. - in memory of a loving father


Mile 12 Sponsor - Ray & Anita Gandy

Mile 12 Honoree Eugene Harlan Carney - loved his grandchildren and was always impressed with their accomplishments and activities.  "Jack the bird" was his favorite pet and he enjoyed it when the kids came by and saw him.  He was a golden gloves boxing champion and very keen with card-playing.

Extra Mile 12 Sponsor - Bruce, Karen, Andrew & Jason Hoopes

Extra Mile 12 Honoree - W. Ronald Hoopes – in memory of a loving and fun-loving father and grandfather ‘.


Mile 13 Sponsor - Ray & Anita Gandy

Mile 13 Honoree Thalia Virginia Carney - was a very special person who raised 6 children, all girls.  Her life was a sacrifice for her girls and she went to college at age 50 and taught for over 10 years until she retired.  She was very active, very passionate and very knowing of many things.  Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gave her great pleasure throughout her life.  She truly loved WVU sports!

Extra Mile 13 Sponsor - The Losek Family (Alice, Darren & Caryl, Kyle, John & Lauren) and The Ashley Family (Kim and Victoria)

Extra Mile 13 Honoree - Thomas M. Losek


Mile 14 Sponsor - Page Wasson

Mile 14 Honoree Kiki Niedermeyer -

"She had twinkling eyes and a bright smile."
"When she giggled, I always felt joy inside."
"I will always remember her."
"She was my friend."

These were a few of the sentiments voiced by many of Kiki's friends at her funeral. She died in January 1995 at age 10 after a courageous year-long struggle with leukemia.

Kiki's love of animals was well-known. Up to the end, friends brought her stories of animals. One friend even presented her with two bantam hens to play with just a few days before she died. She owned a lop-eared rabbit named Lettuce. She loved to swim, play with her dolls, make ceramics and be silly. She was "always cheering you up". Her smile was ever-present - even at the most difficult times during her last year, she managed to smile radiantly. She had a glorious way of giving care to those who were charged with caring for her.

Throughout her short life, Kiki displayed a remarkable gift for selflessness and tolerance. It was perhaps most evident in the warm and loving relationship she had with her autistic brother, Sam. Her kindness and wonderful silliness made her a friend to all who knew her. Perhaps the greatest testament to her spirit is the number of lives she managed to touch.

During the last year of her life she showed a generosity of spirit well beyond her years. She always had a smile for those around her and displayed a remarkable consideration whenever anyone came to visit. She gave the gift of life to those around her. Kiki embodied the spirit of her school motto: "Courage and Confidence." Her unfailing courage and grace reflected the depth of character and enduring faith of her entire family.

Extra Mile 14 Sponsor - Dawn Guite, Linda Argent & Patti Matthis, Michael & Shelley Dell'Orfano, & Eileen Barber

Extra Mile 14 Honoree - Bob Guite - in memory of a loving brother


Mile 15 Sponsor - Beth Bennett

Extra Mile 15 Sponsors - Friends at the Y & Others

Mile 15 Honoree - Robert Bennett - "Robert Bennett was my husband who passed away on February 1st of this year (2011) after a very hard fought battle with cancer.  Bob was simply a good and kind man.  There are those who believe their work is what defines them, but for Bob it was the love of, and by family that was the most important attribute of a successful man.  Bob was a good son, husband, father, brother, brother-in-law, son-in-law, uncle and friend.  My husband worked hard and achieved many successes but it was his kindness, strength and wisdom that I will profoundly miss.  Bob so admired Ray Gandy and the achievements he has made in the world of swimming...but it is Ray's love of family that Bob respected the most.  Where would we be without good men in our lives?  So not only am I asking that Mile 15 be dedicated to my husband, I also ask that it be dedicated to all the good, kind and hard working men in this world."


Mile 16 Sponsor - Omar & Pat Fathi

Mile 16 Honoree Dedicated to our family


Mile 17 Sponsor - The Acciardo’s (Richard, Ann, David, Sharon, Rick & Dorothy)

Mile 17 Honoree The memories of William A. and Robert E. Celio: always remembered and in our hearts.


Mile 18 Sponsor - Scott & Lori Wragg

Mile 18 Honoree - Lou Soscia


Mile 19 Sponsor - Keith & Rosanna Pederzani

Mile 19 Honoree - Sue McNaughton Morrison 


Mile 20 Sponsor - Mike Durand

Mile 20 Honoree - dedicated to all individuals & families struggling through the effects of Leukemia and Lymphoma


Mile 21 Sponsor - Drs. Christopher & Susan May, Veronica Stanek, & Chuck Balawajder

Mile 21 Honoree - Fabio Castro - I am a 17 year old junior at St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, RI. You may not know or cannot tell I am a cancer survivor, but I am. When I was 15 years old I was just about to finish my freshman year I was hit with the worst possible news ever. On June 13, 2008 I was sent to the hospital to have some tests done and later that night the doctors diagnosed me with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). When I found out about my cancer I was devastated and I did not know what to do or what to think. I pretty much thought my life was over. I was so scared. I was placed in the ICU for severe pancreatitis due to side effects from chemotherapy and I was in the hospital a little over a month. Since that attack on my body I am now a diabetic, too. Due to the steroids that I received during treatment by bones developed Avascular Necrosis which is when the joints of your bones die. I have this in my ankles, knees and my hips and it causes severe pain. I never thought I would see the end of treatment. I’m coming in on the home stretch and have about ten weeks of treatment left and the feeling is unreal. On July 17th it is going to be my two year remission date and that is also the official day that I end treatment. I cannot wait. Now I look at life with a positive outlook. Tomorrow is not promised. Live for today.


Mile 22 Sponsor - Rita Gizzarelli, Elenora Argenti, & Doug Sayles

Mile 22 Honoree - Patricia Jempty - My name is Patricia Jempty, and I am a leukemia survivor. I’m 53 years old and live in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, with my husband of twenty-three years, Marty Feigen, and our three
children, Mariel, 18, Mark, 16, and Harry, 14. A routine blood test on March 23, 2006, revealed that I had acute leukemia. Since I hadn’t felt sick, I was shocked when my internist called me to deliver the news. He apologized for not telling me in person, but it was late Friday afternoon, and there was no time to lose. I entered Roger Williams Hospital in Providence, RI, on March 25, where I met my oncologist, Dr. Anthony Thomas, for the first time. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed that I had AML, acute myelogenous leukemia, subtype M4. I immediately began chemotherapy, remaining in the hospital
for four weeks. A follow-up biopsy showed that the cancer was in remission, and I went home on April 19. I returned to Roger Williams three more times for follow-up chemo treatments. Everything went smoothly and according to
plan, except for the 106-degree fever I suddenly developed in late May. The catheter implanted in my chest to deliver the chemo drugs had become infected. I was hospitalized for six days – undergoing almost every test known to man – until they determined which drug would kill the bacteria without killing me. I spent 24 hours on a cooling blanket, which may sound kind of cozy but was more or less a torture device. After my release, I had to undergo a six-week course of intravenous antibiotics, which my husband administered to me at home twice a day. It was inconvenient, but a small price to pay for being alive. My post-treatment bone marrow biopsy on July 30 showed that I was still cancer-free. Dr. Thomas gave me the all-clear to return to work, to start exercising again, to get on with my life. That was easier said than done. I was extremely weak, and I had lost a lot of weight.
I started jogging again, which has always been my main form of exercise. I don’t consider myself a runner, having taken it up somewhat late in life at age 43. Basically, I had to start all over again: that first half mile was a killer. My goal was to run the CVS Downtown 5K in mid-September, or at least walk it. I ended up finishing with a time of 30:28, and I’m happy to say I ran all the way. In November, I competed in the St. Luke’s Trot Off Your Turkey 5K where I did my personal best, 27:47. On September 1, I went back to work teaching English as a Second Language classes at the West Warwick Public Library. I am fortunate that my job is extremely rewarding. Gradually, I returned to doing the things I like best in my free time: spending time with my family; reading the books I couldn’t concentrate on while I was sick; writing again. Although I’ve never earned much money as a writer, that’s what I think of myself as. My essays, articles and poems have appeared in magazines and newspapers published in the U.S. and abroad. It’s difficult living with uncertainty. When I don’t feel well, I think: Is this just normal fatigue? What about that bruise, that ache? Has the cancer come back? If relapse occurs in AML patients, it’s usually within the first two years. Like other cancer patients, I won’t be considered officially cured until I’m cancer-free for five years. For me, that’s April 2011. But I thrive on setting goals, and I plan to reach and surpass that one. I have to. You see, I’ve always wanted to run a marathon.
Who knows, maybe I’ll join Team in Training one day.


Mile 23 Sponsor - Richard Marquis

Mile 23 Honoree - Dan Wyner - is a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor


Mile 24 Sponsor - The Cox Family - Jeff, Carmine & Jane

Mile 24 Honoree - Caroline Cox -


I just read the story on the intranet about your upcoming swim to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and wanted to express my sincere thanks. I recently joined UTC Power a few months ago and am very pleased to see the way the organization is supporting your efforts.

My 12-year old daughter Caroline just passed away last April after a grueling 5-year battle with leukemia and I was very pleased to see how you and your family have continued to direct attention toward this disease in the wake of your wife’s struggle. Like your wife, my daughter underwent a bone marrow transplant in July of ’08 and was recovering nicely. Despite all of her efforts to beat the odds, she fell victim to a severe case of graft versus host disease (“GVHD”) and eventually lost the battle. Having been through this as a family, I know how devastating this has been for you and your wife and I am very pleased to know that she has been able to overcome her bout with CML.

Like you, my daughter Caroline was an enthusiastic swimmer and I know she would be proud of your work to support the work of the LLS. Her photo is attached and I know she will be swimming along with you in spirit.

Best wishes to you,
Jeff Cox, UTC Power


Mile 25 Sponsor - Bengho Chan

Mile 25 Honoree - Chan Teong Kim - in memory of a loving and caring father


Mile 26 Sponsor - Bengho Chan

Mile 26 Honoree - Anne Comer - in memory of a loving and caring mother-in-law


Mile 27 Sponsor - The Gandy, D'Alise & Gizzarelli Families

Mile 27 Honoree - Philip Benedetto - of West Hartford, 96, died peacefully June 7, 2011 at Hartford Hospital surrounded by his loving family. He was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Marion (Candiloro) Benedetto. Born in New York City, he grew up in Wethersfield and was the son of Antonio and Carmela (Rosetta) Benedetto. He lived in Hartford for many years before moving to West Hartford in 1965. In 1948, he started a fuel oil business, Central Oil Co. which he ran for 27 years. His many loyal customers in the Hartford area called him "The Oil Man". He was a member of Our Lady of Sorrows Fife and Drum Corps, a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Westbrook Elks, and a member of the Hannon-Hatch VFW Post 9929. He served his country in World War II in the US Navy and fought in the battle of Iwo Jima. He leaves two sons, Gerald Benedetto and his wife Josephine of Newington, and Stephen Benedetto of West Hartford. He also leaves two grandsons, Paul Benedetto and his wife Marie of Middlefield, and John Benedetto and his wife Cheryl of Marlborough, and three great-grandchildren Mattina and Nicholas of Middlefield, and Julia of Marlborough. He also leaves a brother-in-law Salvatore "Sam" Candiloro and his wife Theresa of Rocky Hill and many nieces and nephews. He took great joy in being with his family, especially his great-grandchildren. He and his wife spent many winters in Florida and summers at the Connecticut shoreline. They both enjoyed the company of their many dear friends. He also enjoyed visiting and having lunch with his many friends at the Elmwood Senior Center. He was predeceased by his brothers Leo, James and Joseph, and a sister Vincenza. The family extends its sincere thanks to the staff at Atria Greenridge Place where he lived for the last seven months, and VNA Hospice.


Mile 28 Sponsor - Jerry & Jo Benedetto

Mile 28 Honoree - The Benedetto Family: Philip, Paul, Marie, Mattina, Nicholas, John, Cheryl, and Julia.


Mile 29 Sponsor - David & Karen Scott-Walton

Mile 29 Honoree - Laura Seli


Mile 30 Sponsor - The Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association (NEKOWSA)

Mile 30 Honoree - dedicated to all individuals & families struggling through the effects of Leukemia and Lymphoma


Mile 31 Sponsor - Indoor Recreation of Orleans County (IROC) / Kingdom Swim 10-miler

Mile 31 Honoree - dedicated to all individuals & families struggling through the effects of Leukemia and Lymphoma


Mile 32 Sponsor - Carol Yunker

Mile 32 Honoree - Janet Marie Sisson Davis, 85, and beloved mother of Carol, Allison, Chris, and Melissa. Thank you, Carol Yunker (oldest daughter and New England Masters swimmer)


Mile 33 Sponsor - Les & Terry Cutler

Mile 33 Honoree - Janet Graham and Gideon Rodan


Mile 34 Sponsor - MIT Masters Swimming

Mile 34 Honoree - dedicated to all individuals & families struggling through the effects of Leukemia and Lymphoma


Mile 35 Sponsor - MIT Masters Swimming

Mile 35 Honoree - dedicated to all individuals & families struggling through the effects of Leukemia and Lymphoma


Mile 36 Sponsor - Russ Albert

Mile 36 Honoree - Stephanie & Melissa Albert - to my lovely daughters


Mile 37 Sponsor - Brad Toner & Kevin Murphy

Mile 37 Honoree - Connor - was three and a half years old when he was diagnosed with ALL. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among young children and young adults under the age of 20. Connor fought strong and after almost three years of treatment he is now ‘cancer free’! Tracy, Connor’s mom, was inspired by the work done by Hasbro Hospital and enrolled in nursing school soon after Connor completed his treatment. Now Connor and his younger brothers, Colin and Cameron are all active in sports like baseball and lacrosse. Connor starts his freshman year at LaSalle Academy in the fall and is a healthy 13 year old young man!


Mile 38 Sponsor - Curt Caserta, William Shaughnessy, Sam & Laura Sacks, Brian McLaughlin, Jason Caulfield, & Karen DuBois

Mile 38 Honoree - Dan Belvin - October of 2002 was a busy month. I got married to a beautiful lady, moved to Rhode Island and was looking forward to the new job I had just begun. Four months later I was diagnosed as having Non-Hodgkin‟s lymphoma. In February of 2003 I developed sharp chest pains whenever I took a breath, and since I was supposed to be going on a trip I wanted to make sure I was safe to go in an airplane. When the physician at the ER showed me the x-ray film, he pointed to a large white mass in my chest and said, “I don‟t know what this is, but I know it isn‟t good.” For any new cancer diagnosis there is a flood of emotions; anger, fear, sorrow, but above all I felt anguish at having to exercise the "in sickness and in health‟ part of the vows with my wife so early. Having to break the news to my own mother on her birthday was no picnic either. For most of 2003 I would be a regular at Rhode Island Hospital where I underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy, three rounds of monoclonal antibody therapy and three weeks of radiation. Somewhere over the course of treatment I lost my hair, dropped weight, suffered setbacks and celebrated victories. By the end of it diagnostic scans showed only a small lump of inert scar tissue that we should keep an eye on. Since then we have been blessed with a daughter, a son and the little lump has remained small and inert as it was in November 2003. I have been cancer free for just shy of two years now and it is a privilege to be your honored hero, but not for my own sake. I am the recipient of gifts that people made years ago. You (LLS' Team in Training) are making it possible that someday when someone else gets this diagnosis it will not be as fearful as it once was, or we might even hope that the diagnosis will never need to be made again.


Mile 39 Sponsor - Richard & Andrea Hearn

Mile 39 Honoree - Ryan Defond - At three years old I was growing, playing, learning the alphabet and what the world was all about. Then my parents said I got very sick. My mother took me to the doctor and my liver and spleen were enlarged. I was brought to Hasbro Children’s Hospital where my cancer journey began. I couldn’t hold my head up, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t play. On June 19th, 1995 I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. I had intense chemotherapy for six months, I remember throwing up constantly, having severe headaches and needing blood transfusions. I had to have spinal taps, bone marrow aspirations initially every two weeks and would continue having chemotherapy for three and a half years. Thankfully I have been in remission for 13 years. February 3rd I will be celebrating my 17th birthday. I know that my parents at one time were not sure if I would be celebrating my 4th birthday or if I would have a first day of school, or a first bike ride, first school dance, or my first kiss. I am happy to say I have had all of those experiences. Today, I am planning my first day in college, my first car, and many more firsts that I have yet to experience in my future. Your (swim of 50 miles) marathon, cycle ride or triathlon will be one of those ‘firsts’ that you do in your life that you will never forget, plus while you’re doing it you’re saving lives. Thank you.


Mile 40 Sponsor - Jon & Lori Leverence

Mile 40 Honoree - Elroy and Marie Pinkert - in loving memory


Mile 41 Sponsor - Scott & Nikki Denton

Mile 41 Honoree - Doris Denton - in complete remission from CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) with no symptoms and normal white blood cell count. A cure is needed, but there is hope until then!


Mile 42 Sponsor - Cynthia Forbes, Bob Kearney, Sandi & Bill Mitchell

Mile 42 Honoree - Patrick Lynch - In the fall of his sophomore year at Bishop Hendricken High School, Patrick was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) and began treatment. After two and a half years Patrick completed his treatment, only to relapse three months later. This was devastating news and Patrick needed a bone marrow transplant.
Patrick was adopted and no one in his family was a match. After three months of searching the National Marrow Registry he found a match and was off to Seattle for the transplant. Thankfully the transplant grafted completely by the Summer of 1998 and he has been cancer free ever since! Patrick and his family began a friendship over the phone with his bone marrow donor, Diane
Dupont and invited her to Patrick’s wedding in August, 2007 to Arianne. It was the first time they met and they danced the night away.


Mile 43 Sponsor - Chris & Laura Litty

Mile 43 Honoree - Joan Litty - a loving mother & cancer survivor


Mile 44 Sponsor - Lily Spencer & Michael Baccari

Mile 44 Honoree - Noah Fogg - is a happy, fun loving 2 year old boy that was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, ALL, on February 7th this year. He has spent over 32 days in a hospital room at Hasbro Children's Hospital and after several rounds of chemotherapy he is currently in remission. Even though they were successfull in stemming the onslaught of Leukemia, Noah's struggle is far from over. He faces 2 years of treatments to make sure the cancer stays in remission. Even though he's going through this tough time, he still has a smile on his face and loves to play with his big brother.


Mile 45 Sponsor - Stephanie Hevenor

Mile 45 Honoree - Maryssa Capone - 19 years old and just finished her freshman year of college. She is on the soccer team there. She is looking at 6 months of chemotherapy for a lymphoma.


Mile 46 Sponsor - June & David Howley

Mile 46 Honoree - dedicated to all individuals & families struggling through the effects of Leukemia and Lymphoma


Mile 47 Sponsor - Laurie Damianos

Mile 47 Honoree - dedicated to all individuals & families struggling through the effects of Leukemia and Lymphoma


Mile 48 Sponsor - Century Hosiery Employees

Mile 48 Honoree - Martha E. Florez - is 36 years old and has been diagnosed with colon cancer. She is married to Cristobal Hernandez and has two children Cristina Hernandez age 14 and Bryan Hernandez age 7.  Martha worked as a sewer for Century Hosiery and was liked by all! Her colon cancer is now in the advanced stage. With the help of family and friends the decision was made to take her home to Mexico. Martha is very grateful for all the support she has received from her family and her friends from work both emotionally and financially.


Mile 49 Sponsor - SwimRI Masters Swimming

Mile 49 Honoree - dedicated to all individuals & families struggling through the effects of Leukemia and Lymphoma


Mile 50 Sponsor - Eric Williamson, Kristen Ward, Susan Kroc, Carolyn Misasi, Theresa Callahan, and Julie Colantuoni.

Extra Mile 50 Sponsor - David, Karen, Jack, Adam & Evan Kornbau

Mile 50 Honorees - Rachel Kornbau & Elaine Kornbau Howley - Mile 50 is a special mile dedicated to the lasting memory of a very special little "bossy lady," Rachel Karen Kornbau, born February 27, 1983. Rachel sadly lost her brave battle with leukemia on July 1, 1986 at three-and-a-half years of age.

Rachel was diagnosed with leukemia in September 1983 at just 7 months old. She was a beautiful, vivacious baby who grew, despite her leukemia, into a funny, caring and wise-beyond-her-years toddler. Her illness changed our family in many ways and while there were some terrifyingly awful aspects to it, we did grow tighter as a family. We each had an important role to play in caring for her and together we enjoyed her short life as much as we could. Rachel was a gift and we were lucky to have known and loved her.

I swim because she can't, but she helps guide me across dark, turbulent seas in all areas of my life. As sisters, we shared a special bond that ran right down to our marrow. Being the bone marrow donor in the transplant that signaled the last ditch effort to save her life was an honor for me and I wouldn't have changed that fact. But her dying a year later was a very difficult pill to swallow. The whole experience has shaped who I've become in profound ways I may not ever fully understand. I miss her everyday, but I am comforted by the feeling that she's still watching over me and my family.

Rachel may be gone in body but she will always be here in spirit. I think she is proud of what we're accomplishing in her memory and I know that this is how she would want to be remembered: as a catalyst for good works that help others.

Thank you all so much for your support in this endeavor. It means so much to me and Ray as well as our families and friends who have been touched by this terrible disease. --Elaine Kornbau Howley