Elizabeth Beisel has made history as the first woman to swim from mainland Rhode Island to Block Island.
Beisel, who is a three-time Olympian, said she is “humbled and honored” to have made the achievement. Beisel, 29, swam the 10.4 miles on Saturday in five hours and 19 minutes, Swim Across America reported.
Her swim helped raise funds for cancer research and programs, and thus far she has raised $135,000 for Block Cancer. Her dad died from pancreatic cancer in July, and Beisel began her swim next to his favorite restaurant, Ocean Mist.
“As a child growing up in Rhode Island and swimming in the ocean along our beautiful coastline, I always dreamed of swimming to Block Island,” Beisel said in a press release. “I envisioned my dad on the island waiting for me to finish with an ear-to-ear grin on his face — how proud he would be that I made it.”
She also told Good Morning America that her dad hadn’t wanted the swim to be about him, but about everyone fighting the disease.
The money she raised will be donated to Rhode Island hospitals for cancer research, including the hospital where he dad was treated, GMA reported.
“I’ll never get to hug him again, but his fight wasn’t for nothing,” she told the show. “I know that my dad’s battle, along with the money raised by Block Cancer, will save someone’s life one day. He is smiling knowing we helped give someone and their family the most precious gift of all time.”