NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island native and Olympic swimmer Elizabeth Beisel plans to swim from the mainland to Block Island this summer raise to money for cancer research.

The Saunderstown native said in a statement this week she’s teaming up with Swim Across America to make the roughly 12-mile swim on Aug. 20.

She said she wanted to help after a family member was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. No woman has completed the trip from Point Judith to Block Island.

“I quickly realized what my family was going through was sadly all too common and that the most impactful way I could raise funds for cancer research and clinical trials would be through my swimming platform,” she told

Beisel swam in three Olympic games — in Beijing in 2008; in London in 2012; and in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. She won silver and bronze medals in London.

Swim Across America is a nonprofit that supports cancer research.

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