Houston Man to Swim 24 Miles ... For His Mom

A Houston man plans to swim across Lake Erie, attempting the 24-mile feat for both personal and public reasons.

Greg Van Volkenburg, 33, and brother Tom will swim across Lake Erie -- 13th-largest lake in the world.

Their mother, Debbie Van Volkenburg, has battled rheumatoid arthritis since she was in her 20s.

Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes progressive deterioration of the body’s bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. More than 50 million Americans, including an estimated 300,000 kids have it.

While growing up, Tom and Greg knew that their mom had arthritis but didn’t really understand the pain and challenges she was dealing with. Today, they are adults, living in different parts of the country, yet united in a mission to honor their mother, increase awareness about the devastating effects of arthritis and raise money to support the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to conquer and cure arthritis.

On or around July 16, Tom and Greg will dive into Lake Erie from Long Point,  Ontario, Canada, and begin what they estimate will be an 11- to 12-hour trek, swimming side by side, to their target destination, Northeast, Pa. -- which is near where their mother lives.

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