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Ones For Texas: Keller Students Swim To Fight Cancer

(CBSDFW.COM) - On Saturday, September 30, thousands across America will swim to raise money for the fight against cancer. Swim Across America is swimmers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities all united for that one common goal.

Swim Across America has been around for 30 years and has raised over $65 million for cancer research and treatment. Swimmers participating in the event can be found throughout the U.S., including in North Texas.

Every morning, even as he's swimming, sophomore Sam Lucas in Keller has plenty of time to think. His aunt Erin lost her battle with cancer just last year.

"She always looked on the bright side of things. We just kinda wanted to honor her, to raise money for other families dealing with this disease," said Lucas.

The drive for a great purpose is the same for fellow swimmer Holt Ragsdale, who lost both of his grandparents in recent years to multiple myeloma. His mother was also diagnosed with melanoma cancer, a skin cancer.

Ragsdale said his mother had the cancer removed a few weeks ago. His desire to fight cancer through swimming has hit home.

"It's a great opportunity. I mean, we get to use our skills for something we ordinarily don't use, for a great purpose," said Ragsdale.

Lucas and Ragsdale are part of a group of 25 Keller High School students who are using every stroke to fulfill their commitment to donors, reaching for each wall synonymous with reaching for new therapies and even cures.

On the day of the event, thousands of people will be swimming for the same cause across the country, including the Keller High School students.

The event will take place in Dallas on September 30. Organizers are expecting 350 swimmers and volunteers. Last year, they had 213.

The students will swim a collective 75 miles. That's down and back in the school's pool 2,640 times.

"What I'm particularly impressed with is their awareness and maturity to where they know they feel good in giving back, doing things for others. I think it helps them in goal setting," said Keller swim coach Linda Shults.

The crew at Keller has hefty goals.

"I have some teammates who have raised over $2,000 a piece!" said swimmer Izzy Sonday.

According to the Swim Across America event director, $128,000 has been raised so far for the Dallas event. The goal is to raise $250,000.

The team of 53 from Duncanville, Carroll and Keller has already raise $10,730.

To these swimmers, being a part of something this big across the U.S. is an unreal feeling.

"The fact we're getting so many kids across DFW involved is just a surreal feeling," said Sonday. "Getting so many people to raise so much money for a cause that affects people worldwide.

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