Soda Moms Swim for Cancer Cure


Rachel Jin, Staff Writer

Swimmers of all ages gathered at the Soda Aquatic Center on November 11 to participate in the 6th annual Matt Lynn Swim for Cancer. Lynn, an alumnus of Acalanes High School, lost his battle with brain cancer in 2009. The event aims raise money and brain cancer awareness across the community.

Participants wore navy blue swim caps emblazoned with the words “Cancer Sucks.”  58 participants, including students, children, and parents, swam laps for an hour, during the “Hour of Power Swim.”

According to the informational email from Pauline Dorr, “this HoP swim for cancer awareness is held at the same time across the country.”

“In August, he was at home with his sister, and he had a seizure, out of the blue,” explained Dorr, a member of the “Soda Moms” who coordinated the event in memory of Lynn.

“Three days later they diagnosed him with brain cancer,” Dorr said. Sadly, Lynn’s condition took a turn for the worse. “Before Christmas 2008 or 2009, he had a relapse and died,” Dorr said.

According to family and friends,  Lynn’s passion for sports extended beyond school teams. Matt’s obituary on The Contra Costa Times listed him “as an assistant coach for the Acalanes High School boys’ junior varsity and varsity lacrosse teams.”.

At the moment, the range of participants has been mainly Acalanes students and Soda Moms, but Dorr hopes to expand. “Our focus has been with Acalanes, but I’d like to share it through the district.”

Dorr and the rest of the “Soda Moms” believe in the necessity “to share information about cancer” and how it can affect both adults and adolescents.

The donations racked up by the swim will benefit the Matt Lynn Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund was started by “some family friends,” said Dorr, who approached Lynn’s mother, Carol Kay, with the idea, and “set it up at Acalanes High School.”

According to Dorr, “every year there has been at least two and as many as four recipients of a thousand plus from the scholarship fund.”

Additionally, posters displayed in the Soda Center office listed colleges that students have received scholarships to, including UC Berkeley, Princeton, and San Diego State.

Though the recipients of the scholarships are high schoolers, the swimmers at the event are “mostly Soda Moms.” Out of the 58 participants, only a few were students. Swimmers practiced water polo catches and throws in the water during the swim.

As the final buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the swim, participants gathered to the center of the pool for a group picture, yelling, “Cancer Sucks!”

“There are so many people out there who can be very suuportive when families are in need, and they just want to do something nice, something that is meaningful,” said Dorr. “We hoped Carol Kay felt she had support.”