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Swig breast cancer fundraiser triples goal, helps with medical bills

By Ryne Williams special To The Standard-Examiner - | Dec 21, 2020

Swig founder Nicole Tanner set out with a goal to raise $50,000 to help people pay for the medical expenses that come with breast cancer. Little did she know, the Swig customers would more than double that goal, raising over $161,000.

Every year, Tanner, who has battled breast cancer, and Swig raise money to help people fighting breast cancer.

Due to a donor, a large majority of Tanner’s medical expenses were covered, and now she is paying that forward.

“It was unreal,” Tanner said of the money raised. “I knew we had the best customers out there, I’ve known that since Day 1, but they blew us away. Their generosity was unreal. I thought when we doubled down to do $100,000 that was a lofty goal, and to then hit that in the middle of the month and ask, ‘Now how high can we get?’ “

The drive-thru drink shop chain got its start in St. George and has locations around Davis County in Bountiful, Clearfield, Clinton and Layton, as well as inside Farmington’s Lagoon amusement park.

Tanner attributed the success of the fundraiser to the fact that customers knew the money was going to people fighting breast cancer.

With the fundraising exceeding expectations, Swig will now be able to help even more people and families who are dealing with the weight of medical expenses after procedures.

“It was just so cool to see that and then to go, ‘I can help even more women like that,’ ” Tanner said. “It just makes you feel like you’re doing good in the world, and we need that right now. It’s so exciting that we can really do a lot of good with these generous donations.”

Tanner added that the day she called all of the families was filled with emotions because of how she could relate to them. She kept going back to the day when she found out that a donor was covering most of her medical expenses.

Tina Anderson of Spanish Fork was one of the women who received the call from Swig.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2019 with a mass in her right breast. She then tried some more natural methods in an attempt to save money.

These methods were unsuccessful and she was scheduled for surgery in late February. After another MRI of both breasts, another mass was found in her left breast and both were removed at the same time.

After the surgeries and radiation, Anderson found out that she was in the clear with no breast cancer remaining.

She was not aware that Swig would be helping her with her medical bills, but she said it was kind and generous because she did have many bills left to pay.

“It’s just such a tremendous load off my shoulder because I’ve been making $500-a-month payments, which are quite significant, to get it all paid off,” Anderson said. “I have insurance and the deductible was $6,500, but for some reason more of it passed through so my responsibility was about $11,000. I’ve just been making payments every month and adjusting our lives around that. To get this call from Swig that they’re going to take care of all of that, I just wept with my husband. It’s such a tremendous blessing.”

Anderson added that she is appreciative of Tanner and Swig’s generosity. She had not gone to Swig prior to learning about the donation, but she said she is now a devoted customer.

With this year’s fundraiser exceeding expectations, Tanner has high hopes for it moving forward.

“Well, the sky is the limit, I really feel that,” Tanner said. “I just have this feeling in my gut that this is bigger than myself and bigger than Swig. It’s something I think can go really big and help a lot of women.”

As for a message to the customer who donated to the fundraiser and made it possible, Tanner was quick to express her thanks.

“Words can’t describe the gratitude, it’s thank you, thank you, thank you,” Tanner said. “It’s astonishing that they gave what they did, they showed up in such a big way.”

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