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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

Defying Physical Challenges and Uniting for Cancer Prevention

2023 Hopkinton Against the Tide Event on June 17, 2023. From Left to Right: Jasmine Gillespie, Laura Diamond, Chloe Smagula, Megan Cohen, and Jordan Marquis

This June, three extraordinary girls will swim to raise money for breast cancer prevention at Against the Tide, an annual event hosted by Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC). Despite facing physical challenges, Jordan, Jasmine, and Chloe participate in Against the Tide not only with the hope that others will join their passionate support of cancer prevention, but to honor their loved ones who have been affected by breast cancer.

Every year participants from all over New England and beyond are drawn to Against the Tide and to MBCC’s unique mission. These swimmers, runners, and walkers share the belief that there are environmental links to cancer and other ill-health. Against the Tide not only raises funds for MBCC’s work to prevent exposures to environmental toxins, the event also raises spirits and empowers people to unite under a common cause.

Among the participants at this year’s Against the Tide are three courageous girls whose determination and unwavering spirit embody the true essence of this event.

Jordan Marquis, a thirteen-year-old from Bedford with a below-knee amputation, is challenging herself to compete in the one-mile swim. Jordan shares, “I hate being underestimated. People with disabilities can do anything! Goal setting – the full mile is the next step for me.” Jordan took on the half-mile swim last year and, in an effort to honor her grandmother who is a breast cancer survivor, she wants to swim even further this year. 

Jasmine “Jazzy” Gillespie, an eleven-year-old girl from Bedford with minor spastic diplegia, is participating in solidarity of the daily challenges that are faced by those with health conditions like cancer. Jazzy says: “Sometimes I feel like people who don’t have conditions that affect their daily lives don’t understand what it’s like. So instead of having empathy for these people, they make fun of them or make them think that they can’t do anything. Doing this breaks the person down and they start to believe that they can’t do anything. I could imagine that this happens to people with breast cancer, too.” Jazzy is swimming in Against the Tide to honor her two grandmothers as well as her aunt, all of whom were touched by breast cancer.

Like Jordan and Jazzy, Chloe Smagula, a fourteen-year-old girl from Westford with hemiplegia, is swimming in Against the Tide to pay tribute to her aunt and to help those touched by cancer through supporting MBCC’s mission. Chloe, who participated in Against the Tide last year, said, “I did the open water swim because I’ve never done it before and I wanted to try something new.”

Against the Tide is a truly inviting event where all are welcome and everyone can get together in support of cancer prevention. It offers participants of any age or ability the chance to take part in one or more of the event’s athletic components.

The special 25th Anniversary Cape Cod Against the Tide event will take place on June 8th at DCR’s Nickerson State Park in Brewster, MA. The 32nd Annual Hopkinton Against the Tide event will take place on June 15th at DCR’s Hopkinton State Park in Hopkinton, MA. Against the Tide will also be held virtually from June 8th to June 15th.

To learn more about Against the Tide and all of the registration options, to join or create a team and to donate or fundraise, please visit the event website at