BERLIN – A competitive swimmer is turning his exercise regimen into a fundraiser for a girl battling cancer.
Most days, you can find Adam Diehl – a 15-year-old Ocean Pines resident – in the pool. As a competitive swimmer and member of the Ocean Pines Swim Team, he typically trains six days a week, two hours a day throughout the year.
However, Diehl’s practices were interrupted earlier this year as pools closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with the help of his trainer, he has developed a new goal – to bear crawl for a mile.
“With the pandemic going around, I was out of the water and had to make a new goal for myself, so my trainer and I decided to bear crawl for a mile,” he said. “To make it interesting, we know this girl named Addie who has cancer, and we decided to raise money for her.”
In April, 9-year-old Addie Lapinski was diagnosed with B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Within weeks, doctors also learned Addie had a genetic mutation called the Philadelphia chromosome, an abnormality of the leukemia cells.
Diehl, whose parents are friends of the Lapinski family, said he was eager to offer his support.
“Cancer, especially for a little girl, is something hard and painful, and the toll it takes on the family is astronomical,” he said.
Last week, the Diehl family created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Addie and her family. And within days, the campaign had exceeded its $1,000 goal.
But Diehl said he is not stopping there. On June 12, he will bear crawl for one mile in the grass of Berlin First Baptist Church, where Diehl’s father is the lead pastor. A bear crawl – similar to a baby crawl – requires a person to bear weight on the hands and toes instead of the knees.
“I will be bear crawling for a mile, and that is nothing compared to what she is going to be battling for the next couple of years,” Diehl said in a video message to donors.
Diehl encouraged everyone to support Addie through his fundraising efforts.
For more information, or to donate, visit Diehl’s GoFundMe page, “Crawling for Cancer.”