The time has come: this afternoon Haarlem is all about Swim to Fight Cancer. Hundreds of swimmers dive into the water of the Spaarne to raise money for cancer research. Ilse and Henny, both affected by the disease, also swim along.
It always remains exciting whether there is not too much blue-green algae in the water. Last year the ‘swim’ couldn’t take place for that reason, but this year it’s the water quality thankfully better. Research showed that there is almost no blue-green algae in the water in the Haarlem city center.
That is good news for the organization and participants who will enter the water this afternoon. One of the swimmers is 53-year-old Ilse Moerkerk-van Hooijdonk. She must go on cancer missing her leg.
She likes challenges and swimming 2 kilometers through the center of Haarlem with one leg is certainly one. She sometimes wonders what she got herself into. “On the other hand, if I focus on something, I go for it and then it usually works out,” she said earlier. “Moreover, my brother and sister are swimming with me and there are many many friends and acquaintances along the side to help me through it.”
Also the Haarlem Henny van Kessel is swimming this afternoon in the Spaarne. She had just signed up for Swim to Fight Cancer last year when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
Between chemotherapy and operations, Henny trained with her family and her teammates from swimming club HPC. From February, 3 months after the last operation, she was allowed to swim again. She found it exciting. “But it just feels so great to be able to get back in the water.”
Haarlem is one of the nine Dutch cities where a Swim to Fight Cancer is organized. The final result in the Spaarnestad will be announced on Sunday 4 June during the event. The organization has previously announced that it will be a record revenue. At 3.15 pm you can watch the 2 kilometers live via NH.