Ashland Barracudas: Swim Marathon

Jamie Hess

Date: June 23, 2017

For five summers, Jamie Hess was a member of the Ashland Barracudas swim team. A student at Rural Point Elementary School in Mechanicsville, Jamie was regarded as an all-around great swimmer, friend and sport to his teammates, fellow students, and friends. An avid athlete, swimming was just one of the sports that Jamie enjoyed; however, there were countless swimmers, parents, and coaches who enjoyed spending their time at the pool with this young man.

 In 2001, Jamie was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite the many challenges he and his family faced, Jamie continued to participate on the Ashland swim team throughout the 2001 summer season. His participation served as an inspiration to his teammates and to the Ashland community. Jamie struggled valiantly against cancer, and his fight against the disease united a county during the winter of 2001-2002. Jamie died in February of 2002, following his long, brave battle with the disease.

The following summer the Ashland Barracudas awarded the first Jamie Hess Sportsmanship Awards to a boy and a girl on our team who exemplified this trait that Jamie personified. Also during the summer of 2002, the Massey Cancer Center at the Medical College of Virginia established the Jamie Hess Memorial Juvenile Bone Marrow Transplant Fund to raise money and awareness for the fight against leukemia in children. The medical staff that treated Jamie chose to name the fund in his memory to honor this remarkable person whose smile never faded.

Beginning in 2002, the Barracudas have sponsored swim marathons in memory of Jamie and to raise funds for the fund that bears his name. The team has collected over $40,000 to assist with the first projects supported by the Jamie Hess Fund in the years since we began this annual endeavor.

In recent years the swim marathon effort has expanded to include other fund raising opportunities incorporating all ages of our team. This year, we plan to include several other opportunities to support the fund.

This year, the Hess Swim Marathon will be held on Jamie's birthday, taking place during regular practice hours on June 23, 2017.

Handout: 2018 Jamie Hess Swim Marathon