Brothers will attempt swim from Canada to North East

Local News

Two Cathedral Prep graduates are swimming for a cure – for their mother.

The Van Volkenburg brothers will attempt the first tandem swim from Canada to North East since 1989.  

“Two brothers and one long swim.”  

Greg and Tommy Van Volkenburg have been training hard for around eight months.

Greg said, “As far as we know, there’s been 90-some failures of this swim and 17 successfully recorded attempts in recorded history.  So, the odds of actually completing is pretty rare.”

The tandem pair hope to complete a marathon swim from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach in North East.
Tommy said the last tandem, “Finished a little bit apart, but Greg and I want to be the first really to stay together throughout the swim.”

The two brothers want to complete the 24.3 mile swim with one person in mind – their mom.

Greg and Tom’s mom was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in her early 20’s.  

Greg said, “So, we linked up with the Arthritis Foundation to raise money for awareness and research related to RA and arthritis.”

Tommy said, “Growing up, I don’t think we had a real understanding of what our mom went through with the arthritis.  You know, she’s had multiple joint atrophy, multiple knee replacements, things like that.  So, I think this is just an opportunity for us to kind of show her what she’s meant to us.”

This dream is one the duo has had for years, now they are just waiting for the ideal window.  

Tommy said, “Everything’s kind of in place now. We have the crew, we have all the licensing and everything taken care of.  We’re just kind of waiting on the weather, the wind, the water temperature… everything to kind of align for us.”  

The Van Volkenburg brothers are hoping Friday will be the big day.

Luckily, for the brothers, they’ve had help along the way by other swimmers who have successfully completed the swim.

Their goal is to raise $25,000 for the cure.  For more information on the swim, or on how to donate, you can visit

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events Calendar