By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Hundreds of people in Baltimore will have a Purple Sunday and it’s all for a good cause.  They’ll take the plunge at Rocky Point in Middle River to raise money to fight pancreatic cancer.

Ron Matz reports the 5th annual Purple Swim honors a man who loved the water.

Purple Swim Baltimore raises money to fight pancreatic cancer. The race honors Bud Beatty who was 56 when he died of the disease 10 years ago.

“In February 2002, Bud was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  We were devastated.  It really is a death sentence.  He passed away on Aug. 15, 2002,” said Joy Beatty, Purple Swim organizer and widow of Bud Beatty.

Beatty’s widow Joy and her children decided to do something.

“My son Tim put his grief to work and organized the first swim.  It was five years ago.  We became active with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. They help sponsor us,” said Joy Beatty.  “Our first year we had five swimmers.  My son Tim was one of them.  I think we raised about $5,000 that first year so that was pretty good.”

Last year more than 200 swimmers raised more than $36,000.  The goal this year is $47,000.

After graduating from Poly, Bud Beatty became the swim team captain at the University Of Maryland.  He even qualified for the Olympic trials.

“Bud was a great swimmer.  He started the YMCA Swim Team in Carroll County.  He taught a lot of kids how to swim.  We were married 33 years.  He was a great guy,” said Joy Beatty.

And on Sunday, many will swim for Bud Beatty and others too.

“The more people I talk to about pancreatic cancer, they have a relative who died from it.  About 44,000 people will get the disease just this year and probably over 37,000 will die.  The survival rate is not very good,” said Joy Beatty.

For more information on how you can make a donation, click here.


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