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Former Olympian, UR MBA Student Rowing for Cancer Research

Cancer Survivor Crossing Lake Ontario to Bring Patients Hope for a Cure

Friday, June 13, 2003

Dominic Seiterle has tackled many challenges in his prestigious rowing career, but none as difficult, yet rewarding as beating thyroid cancer. The experience helped him focus his energy, giving him the strength and determination to make the 2000 Canadian Olympic Rowing Team.

"I now know the level of stamina and motivation that’s necessary to compete at the Olympic level is similar to the perseverance those with cancer must draw upon every day to fight their disease," says Seiterle, a Montreal native. His trek across Lake Ontario at the end of June will raise funds for the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Camp Trillium, a support program for children with cancer in Ontario, Canada.

In 1997, Seiterle was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He was studying for his bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth College and competing for Canada. Just after the Nation's Cup Regatta in Milan, Italy, he noticed a lump on his neck. He was concerned because his mother had thyroid cancer. Shortly before turning 23, he had a thyroidectomy and radio-ablation to destroy remaining cancer cells.

He returned to rowing just two weeks after surgery and earned a spot on the 2000 Canadian Olympic Team two years later. He competed in the Men’s Double Scull finishing 13th in Sydney, Australia.

He came to Rochester last year to study at University of Rochester William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration. And, now he’s rowing for a reason: to bring hope to people with cancer and to bring doctors closer to a cure.

Seiterle is embarking on what he calls the Lake Ontario Solo Rowing Challenge to offer hope for people with cancer. He will row 130 kilometers (about 81 miles) across Lake Ontario, from Rochester to Kingston, Ontario. He expects to begin his journey sometime between Friday, June 27, and Tuesday, July 1.

The 15-20 hour expedition could be done in one day, but is heavily dependent on weather. He is expects arrival in Kingston by July 1.

Tackling the entire distance at once, or even over a couple of days, is quite a feat, considering the Olympic distance is just over one mile. But Seiterle is ready. He’s been doing weight and endurance training all year and rowing along the Genesee River over the past several weeks.

"I’ve never done 80 miles in a day. But like training for any major event, you set smaller goals and push yourself mentally and physically to succeed," he says. "This is a challenging step in my training toward my goal of making the 2004 Olympic Team and I am energized by being able to support these two organizations in the process."

To support his efforts, go to, or to learn more about local cancer research at the Wilmot Cancer Center, call (585) 275-6292.


Media Contact

Leslie White

(585) 273-1119

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