Two NCAA swimming teams competed against each other on Friday night and on Saturday worked together as one by volunteering at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Indianapolis Light the Night walk. LTN events focus on raising awareness and funds to put an end to cancer; a cause with which both the University of Indianapolis and University of Cincinnati swimming programs have a very personal connection. (Dual meet results, scores.)
UIndy head coach Jason Hite’s oldest son, Ethan, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 20 months old and fought the disease for years. Ethan is now almost 15 years old, healthy and member of his high school swim team at Center Grove High School in southern Indianapolis.
Head Cincinnati coach, Mandy Commons DiSalle, lost a swimmer several years ago to cancer and has since dedicated their annual alumni intrasquad meet to him, naming it the Nate Kramer Memorial Swim in honor of the former standout Bearcat. Additionally, Cincinnati assistant Pieter Ritz’s mother, Monique Ritz, is currently battling lymphoma. The team has dedicated their volunteer work to these two for whom they care so deeply.
This unique collaboration serves as a shining example, not only of the thoughtfulness and caring nature of swimmers, but of the good that teams can do in their community and how that can be enhanced through a spirit of cooperation.
If your life and the life of your loved ones has been touched by cancer, please consider participating in a fundraiser, volunteering your time, or donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.