Brampton Teen To Swim Across Lake Erie To Raise Funds For Sexual Abuse Survivors


A Brampton 16-year-old resident will be swimming across Lake Erie to raise funds for a non-profit organization.  

Elizabeth Banducci is swimming for Defend Dignity this weekend (on a day between August 23 to 25, weather permitting).  

Defend Dignity is a non-profit organization that aims to end all forms of sexual exploitation in Canada through advocacy, raising awareness and providing aid. 

The teen attends St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in Brampton, where she is currently swimming on her high school team.

Swimming has always been a part of her life. At age 12, Banducci joined the Dorado Stars Swim Club in Caledon.  She swam with them for over two years until doctors discovered she had a tumour on her knee. Banducci went through many surgeries. Luckily, the surgery at Toronto’s Sick Kids hospital was a success.

In the fall of 2018, she started working at Embrace Swimming Aquatic Centre, which is owned by Miguel Vadillo, Banducci's coach.  Banducci got the idea to swim across Lake Erie and with the help of her coach, her idea is becoming a reality. 

"She didn't want to swim such a major distance just for self- gratification but wanted to do it for a cause. Elizabeth contacted Defend Dignity to see if she could do the swim as a fundraiser for us," says Defend Dignity.

The swim will be 20km in length and will start in Sturgeon Bay, NY, USA and finish at Crystal Beach, Ontario Canada. Banducci is training several hours a week and is preparing for drag, water temperature and the course nutrition.

"I think it’s amazing that she has decided to do this swim across Lake Erie not only for personal reasons but also to promote an issue, which she feels very strongly about. Bringing awareness to human trafficking is so vital, especially since it’s happening all around us in the GTA," says Luca Banducci, Elizabeth Banducci's father. 

To learn more about Banducci's swim and/or to donate, click here.

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