Sports

Racing for a cure: Swimmer Ian Lock ’17 is making a difference at Mac and in Congress

After three days of competing at the MIAC Championships, Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams have a lot to be proud of. The team came away with strong performances from Paul Reischmann ’19, Maggie McKenna ’16, Jake Roux ’19, Smaranda Georgescu ’17 and a number of their relay teams.

Ian Lock ’17 competed in five events at conference, two relays and three individual, and dropped time with each performance. “The first day we had people dropping tons of time and the momentum continued throughout the weekend,” Lock said. “It was really exciting to come off a rough year where we were a little unsure of how conference would go, because of all the sickness we had this season, and see everyone do so well.”

Although Lock may be known for his credentials as a varsity swimmer, club water polo captain, Biology major and Economics minor here at Macalester, what most might not know about is his activism against cancer. Lock is the org leader for Macalester’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer (CAC), but that’s just one piece of his story.

During his sophomore year of high school Lock was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, after taking a hit during a football game. He spent that year away from school, taking classes online while undergoing treatments to combat the tumor. Despite undergoing continued treatments, Lock refuses to let his medical history limit him, especially in the pool.

After his diagnosis, Lock was invited to be the honorary survivor at the Relay For Life which is organized by the American Cancer Society (ACS). ACS is the largest funder of cancer research besides the federal government, and also funds many programs for survivors and those undergoing treatment. This was Lock’s first exposure to the Relay For Life, and he has been participating ever since.

This year, Lock is serving as National Advocacy Chair for Relay For Life. “After I was diagnosed with cancer it obviously became a more prevalent part of my life, but you also notice it more. Cancer becomes more of a reality and a bigger part of your story. I had the desire to be more involved, so I have been,” Lock said.
Along with 11 other students on the National Collegiate Leadership team for the Relay, Lock advises 680 high school and college events. “Working with Relay For Life is always great. It’s a group of people who are super passionate about what they’re doing,” he said.

Closer to home, the planning for Macalester’s Relay For Life is in full swing with the event only five weeks away. Next week Mac CAC will be competing against St. Thomas to get participants signed up to walk. The Relay will begin on April 1st at 6 p.m. and will continue until 6 a.m. the next day. The Relay For Life brings together members from Macalester and the surrounding community to raise money for cancer research and join in a night of remembrance and celebration of the money raised.

“It’s a pretty incredible event because everyone is there for a very serious reason, but it’s also this giant celebration because everyone there wants to fight back. It’s really important to have that space for people to feel empowered and also have fun,” Lock said.

In addition to his involvement with the Relay, Lock has spoken at multiple congressional hearings in Washington, D.C. He is also involved with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the advocacy affiliate of the ACS. Lock meets with legislators to share his story and talk about different cancer issues. This year, his focus is on palliative care, colorectal screening tests and research. “Research is something I talk a lot about when I go to speak, because it’s so important to fighting this disease. Nothing will happen without research,” Lock said.

February 26, 2016

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