By Celine Klosterman
With the help of many prayers, Cheyanne Boddicker said, she finished swimming the English Channel on Aug. 6.
After 15 hours and 39 minutes in the water, the Tipton native and member of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City touched the shore of Sangatte, France, around 12:35 a.m. CDT Saturday. Her swim of 31 nautical miles fulfilled a goal she’d set in an effort to raise money for the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa.
“I truly feel that prayer helped me get across,” she told The Catholic Messenger via email from England. “When I said the rosary while swimming, I was imagining the Virgin Mary, helping me to calm down and settle into a stroke, and to calm me as I swam through the dark of night. I also prayed for many people I knew who had passed away from cancer. I asked for strength to get me through the swim and for God to cast out any negative thoughts I would have about quitting or thinking I couldn’t do it.”
She shared gratitude for others who prayed for her, including her fiancé, Karl Kofmehl. He stood by on a “pilot boat” during her swim, during which she was not allowed to touch people or objects.
When Boddicker began the swim in Dover, England, Aug. 5, she had raised $13,100. She said she’ll continue fundraising until she reaches her goal of $25,000.
Her effort to raise money for cancer research was motivated largely by her grandfather Wendell Noller, who died in February 2010 after battling cancer for 10 years.
God “has blessed me with the body, the strength, and the opportunity to do this,” Boddicker wrote on her blog, http://crossingforacure.blogspot.com. “I am so humbled by the gifts He has given me, and through this journey, He has taught me so much more than I could have possibly imagined.”
She’ll return home Aug. 24, then resume studying for a master’s degree in philanthropy and development at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minn.
For more information or to donate, visit http://crossingforacure.com or write to Crossing for a Cure, PO Box 3344, Iowa City, IA, 52244.