Langley, British Columbia—On July 28, Christina Schneiter, 22, a first year communications student at Trinity Western University, plans to swim a distance that most people only drive. In the cold, choppy waters of Skaha Lake in Penticton, B.C., Schneiter’s finish line will be a grueling 22 kilometres away. Her motivation—to raise $25,000 for the cancer society in memory of Beverly Maffey, the mother of her Ontario boyfriend.
Beverly Maffey lost her battle with cancer last December. While Schneiter never had the opportunity to meet Maffey, she wanted to contribute to the Cancer Society in her memory. With no personal funding to give, Schneiter’s determination led her to organize an event that will put her own endurance to the test.
“I chose to do the long swim because it symbolizes the battle with cancer,” says Schneiter, who swam one length of Skaha Lake in the Ultra Swim last year, half the distance she will swim on July 28. “You’re tired, but you can’t stop swimming. You can’t take a break. And you can’t see the finish line. That’s how it is for cancer patients. They have to keep going no matter how tired or discouraged they are.”
With the go-ahead from the Cancer Society to organize the first Beverly Maffey Swim for the Cure, Schneiter recruited fellow athlete and friend Marie Owen, 17, a student at Meadowridge School in Maple Ridge, B.C. to join her for the July 28 swim. The two Maple Ridge athletes train for several hours each day, in addition to canvassing for support.
“We’ve made t-shirts that say ‘Beverly Maffey Swim for the Cure’ and people often come up to us and ask us about it,” says Schneiter. “We’ve gotten so much encouragement from people who say, ‘I’ve been there. I appreciate what you’re doing.’”
While Schneiter originally planned to compete in the Ironman Canada this summer, a competition she took part in two years ago, training for the cancer swim has been so intense that she has foregone training for anything else. It is a cause that she believes is worth the effort.
“Beverly was an amazing mom,” says Schneiter. “I never got to meet her and I never will. It’s sad. I want to do all I can to help find a cure so that this doesn’t have to happen again.”
While Schneiter admits that her boyfriend, also a student at TWU, is nervous about her swimming the long distance, she says he is amazed by her willingness to do so in memory of his mother. Both he and his father will fly out from their home in Ontario to watch and cheer for her and Owen on July 28.
To find out more information or to make donations to the Beverly Maffey Swim for the Cure fund, call (604) 467-1651. Tax receipts are available through the Cancer Society.
Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling 2,850 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.
Last Updated: 2012-08-21