Catalina Connection

Tarzana man swims to Catalina Island to raise funds for leukemia awareness

LOS ANGELES — In the ultimate act of altruism, Tarzana resident, Stan Kurtz, swam to Catalina beginning on Aug. 4, mostly during the night, to raise money for the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Society. Both Kurtz’s father and father-in-law had passed away from leukemia. Kurtz’s swim also coincided with the timing of his 50th birthday.

Kurtz told The Log in an email: “There were many amazing moments and some real challenges, and I landed on shore at 12:15 p.m. on the 5th (started at 11:45 pm the night before on the 4th from Catalina). I swam in near complete darkness (quarter moon with full cloud cover) until about 6 a.m. I had dolphins following me for most of the swim, and then came into shore to a screaming welcome from about 80 people. It was quite amazing. We have raised $29,800 dollars so far for the CLL Society and the donations continue to come in. It has been an epic event.”

The swim spanned 23 miles across the ocean – from Palos Verdes Peninsula to Catalina Island – and took a little more than 12 hours to complete. Kurtz also set up a GoFundMe page where he successfully raised his $25,000 goal and change.

Patty Koffman, executive director of the CLL Society, said: “The non-profit CLL Society offers 28 support groups across the country, free second opinions with CLL Experts and is a reliable source of information for leukemia patients.”

Kurtz’s swim earned widespread media coverage, but more than 60,000 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia in 2018, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you would like to contribute or learn more, visit CLL Society’s website at

For more information about Kurtz’s swim, visit the website at or follow him on Facebook (swimcatalina).

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