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GA Mom Swims Across Country For Cancer: Final Lap At Lake Lanier

Patch logo Patch 9/28/2021 Andrea V. Watson
A Georgia woman has spent the summer swimming across the United States in honor of her late daughter. She will complete her 14th and final swim Saturday at Lake Lanier Olympic Park. © Shutterstock A Georgia woman has spent the summer swimming across the United States in honor of her late daughter. She will complete her 14th and final swim Saturday at Lake Lanier Olympic Park.

DECATUR— A Georgia mother will honor the life of her daughter Grace Bunke, a former U.S. Paralympics Swim Team member, with a special swim this Saturday. Vicki Bunke lost Grace, 14, from osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer in 2018.

She has spent the summer swimming across the United States in honor of her late daughter, according to a news release. Bunke began the swim tour in May in Tampa and has swam in cities such as Chicago, Seattle and more. She will complete her 14th and final swim at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA. The special ceremony begins at 8 a.m. followed by the 5K at 8:30 a.m. The event ends at noon.

Five-time Paralympic medalist and three-time Paralympian Mallory Weggemann will join Bunke in the special swim.

“To have Mallory and other members of my team Amazing Grace join me at this last swim in our hometown makes it even more special,” Bunke said in a statement. “I know Grace is smiling at this and it is just another example of how ‘hope has no finish line.’”

She said her daughter found both inspiration and hope in swimming.

“She came to love swimming so much that even though she continued to get sicker, she swam faster and better at every meet,” Bunke said. “In 2018, when she was too sick to swim, she asked me to swim in her place. When one of your daughter’s last requests on this earth is to swim for her when she no longer can, you honor that request.”

The Amazing Grace swim tour has already raised more than $130,000 as of Tuesday. Funds will support pediatric cancer research and treatments.

Bunke said participating in the Swim Across America open water swims has been a tribute to Grace. The 14 swims represent each year of her life.

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