Upstate man prepares to swim in Alcatraz Challenge - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate man prepares to swim in Alcatraz Challenge

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Robb Eskenasy trains for the Alcatraz Challenge at an Upstate pool. (May 16, 2012/FOX Carolina) Robb Eskenasy trains for the Alcatraz Challenge at an Upstate pool. (May 16, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Robb Eskenasy has been swimming several days a week to prepare for the big Alcatraz Challenge in California this summer, a two-mile swim from Alcatraz prison to shore in 50-degree water that ends with a seven-mile run.

"I am going to do the swim and my wife will do the run," Eskenasy said. 

He and his wife, Kim Eskenasy, are planning to make the trip to San Francisco in July.  If you look at Robb Eskenasy swim, it may appear he has been doing this for years. 

Robb Eskenasy used to weigh 420 pounds and today he weighs 210 pounds. He said the Alcatraz Challenge helped him along the way. 

He said since his 210-pound weight loss, he has been training daily for this challenge and helping others lose weight on John Defendis' Ultra Fit Program at Coop's Fitness.

"His commitment is amazing, but really what really amazes me is his heart. I think a person can work really hard, but its what's in their heart that makes a difference," said Defendis. 

Robb Eskenasy and his wife's desire to do Alcatraz intensified when a family friend, 3-year-old Tucker Reeves, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

"He is always happy and he is always trying to play," said Kim Eskenasy.

Right now, the Eskenasys have two months until they make the cross country journey, but they need your help.

"We are looking for donations to help these kids to go to Camp Courage.  Its a play where the doctors give the kids their chemo and radiation," they said. 

They have a donation box set up at Luna Rosa Gelato Cafe on West Washington Street if you would like to make donations. The restaurant is also matching all donations made to Robb and Kim's mission to help Tucker, Jacob's Heart Foundation and other kids here in the Upstate battling cancer. 

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