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Breast cancer patient raises awareness by swimming Neuse River

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NEW BERN, Craven County - A breast cancer patient is raising money and awareness for the disease by swimming through rivers and lakes across the country.

Mary Gooze was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and went into remission after radiation treatments. But later in 2014 while training for a triathlon, Gooze felt a sharp pain in her hip. She was then diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.

That's when she decided to start her One Woman Many Lakes Campaign. She began swimming in lakes and rivers across the country to raise money for the disease which she says goes unfunded compared to other forms of cancer.

"Two percent goes into the drugs and treatments for it," she said. "I decided I needed to bring attention to this disease. And I thought that if I jumped into a lake, people would pay attention."

Now Gooze has done 22 swims across the country. Her most recent swim was from the Bridgeton Harbor Marina to Union Point Park in New Bern.

"There are 40,000 of us that die every year, and I'm 64 years old. I'm too young to die, so I am out there to raise awareness and to raise funds for this disease," she said."

Gooze did the 1.7 mile swim all the way from Bridgeton to Union Point Park in just over one hour.

"And it's been working," she said. "Funds are being raised and people are paying attention to what's going on with this disease."

Gooze has already raised almost $140,000 to support metastatic breast cancer research.

If you want to donate, you can find more information at OneWomanManyLakes.org.

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