Lexington, Ky. - On November 13th, Transylvania swimmers joined athletes across the country and abroad for the 13th annual Ted Mullin "Leave it in the Pool" event, sponsored by Carleton College (Minn.) swimming and diving teams.
The "Hour of Power" relay is in honor of Carleton College swimmer Ted Mullin, who passed away in the fall of 2006 from sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer. Funds raised through this event support research at the University of Chicago Medicine into the causes and treatment of sarcoma in young people.
When the event began in 2006, 15 teams joined together to raise team spirit, sarcoma awareness and a total of $11,000. By 2017-18, participation included 166 teams and 8,650 athletes. Over the past 12 years, participants in "Hour of Power" have raised more than $775,000 for the Ted Mullin Fund for Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) Comer Children's Hospital.
The Transylvania swim and dive team held practice, which consisted of continuous relays—any stroke, all-out swimming—for an hour, with the objective of keeping all lanes in each pool on the same length. "This was the fourth year we have participated in the Hour of Power here at Transy, and it was another successful event," said Associate Head Coach Keaton Koukis.
The Ted Mullin Fund has raised more than $1.25 million and the Hour of Power is the single largest contributor, raising 60 percent of the total. The money raised acts as seed funding for the UCM pediatric sarcoma research program.
Each summer, the UCM hosts Ted Mullin Fund Scholars in pediatric cancer laboratories, allowing collegiate "Hour of Power" participants an opportunity to advance their interest in science and cancer biology during a 10-week program.
The Ted Mullin Fund has supported ongoing cancer research, including new ways to administer chemotherapy in this disease, techniques to visualize more accurately the tumor response in the patient, novel genomics strategies to identify high-risk sarcoma patients, and molecular techniques to personalize therapy to maximize benefit while reducing treatment-related toxicity and treatments for metastatic or resistant disease that use the patient's own immune system to attack residual tumors.
Koukis remarked, "Everyone has been affected by cancer, and to show support as a team for not only college athletes battling cancer, but to come together as a team and swim in honor or memory of loved ones with cancer is something special."