Mrs. Texas, Breast Cancer Survivor, Michelle Berndt To Swim Across America

Michelle Berndt of Mansfield, Texas knows Angelina Jolie’s story of double mastectomy all too well. In 2011, Berndt tested positive for a BRCA mutation at age 29, the same genetic test taken by Jolie, and was preparing to have a preventive double mastectomy at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. Her mother and grandmother both fought breast cancer, and she knew her risk of getting the disease was very high.

Weeks before the surgery, she discovered that the breast cancer she was hoping to prevent was already there. She noticed a lump in her breast and a biopsy confirmed it was cancer.

After surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy in 2012, the wife and mother of two not only beat cancer, she returned to life in a remarkable way: winning the Mrs. Texas International 2013 pageant.

“Now with my cancer in remission, I have chosen to commit my time to volunteering with organizations that support cancer research, education, and patient support,” Berndt says. “I want to do my part to ensure my children can one day live in a cancer-free world.”

On Saturday, June 8, 2013, at The Harbor at Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall, Texas, Berndt will be the honorary starter of the Swim Across America – Dallas (SAA) open water swim event, which local swimmers, former Olympians, and cancer survivors raise money for the Innovative Clinical Trials Center at Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas. SAA participants will swim knowing that the money they have raised is staying local.

In 2011, the same year of Berndt’s diagnosis, SAA organizers pledged to raise $1 million for Baylor Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas. The event, which has raised $600,000 in just two years is well on its way to fulfilling that pledge.

Swimmers must raise a minimum of $500 in order to participate in the ½-mile, 1-mile or 2-mile course at Lake Ray Hubbard.  They may swim individually, or as part of a team, to honor friends and family that have been affected by cancer.

To learn more about how SAA is “making waves to fight cancer,” please visit WWW.SWIMACROSSAMERICA.ORG/DALLAS.

About Swim Across America

Swim Across America, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming- related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.

This is an unedited press release.

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Not to take anything away from this courageous young woman…who I am glad to hear is on the mend… but the title seems to imply she is swimming the event. Reading the article it indicates she is merely starting the event.

David McClellan

For those of you in the swimming community who have been touched by cancer and who haven’t experienced a Swim Across America event, I encourage you to find an event in your area and check it out. It’s a wonderful way to get in action and make a difference fighting cancer in your community.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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