Alexandra Newbold participated in her first Marilyn Jetty Swim last year, just one month after losing her sister to bowel cancer. Now, she’s getting ready to don the blonde wig again in February for the 10th anniversary of the iconic event.
Held every February as a part of the Channel 7 Brighton Jetty Classic, the 2023 Marilyn Jetty Swim will see more than 500 South Australians swimming or paddling 400 metres around the Brighton Jetty—all dressed head to toe as ‘50s icon Marilyn Monroe.
Alexandra first signed up for the event last February, after losing her sister Stephie to bowel cancer on 1 January 2022. This wasn’t the first time cancer had impacted Alexandra’s family—she also lost her sister Rosemary to breast cancer in 2016.
“Stephie was an incredibly strong woman and she chose to make it a very private battle, so when she passed, it was a shock to our family,” she said.
“Shortly after she passed, I learnt that not only had Stephie made a huge personal donation to Cancer Council, but also that a work friend was taking part in the Marilyn Jetty Swim. I put the two together and it seemed like a really nice way to be able to honour Stephie’s memory.”
Alexandra’s family and close friends signed up to join hundreds of Marilyns at Brighton Jetty and created a team in Stephie’s honour, Stephie’s Starlets.
“We had family and friends support me and the team—on the day my husband even stepped in for a friend who had to sit it out due to having COVID,” Alexandra said.
“Stephie’s husband Steve came along and he was really visibly moved by the occasion and the fact that so many people had donated to her team and wanted to support the family in a positive way.”
“There was a lot of camaraderie amongst people because we were all there for a common cause. It just felt like this really genuine spirit of support and being barely a month after Stephie passed, I really needed that at the time.”
The 2023 swim will be Alexandra’s second and a way for her and her family to celebrate Stephie again, just over a year since she passed.
“There is something incredible about the Marilyn Jetty Swim that just brings everyone together— it seems a little bit frivolous and fun, however all of us have been touched by cancer, so people really do feel very happy to contribute or come down and get involved,” she said.
“Stephie’s passion was research into early detection because she believed that had her cancer been diagnosed and treated early, she would have survived. My hope is that the money I raise will continue Stephie’s legacy and help fund research to ensure other families don’t have to lose their loved ones to cancer.”
2023 marks 10 years of the Marilyn Jetty Swim, with the incredible Marilyn’s raising over $820,000 to date for South Australians impacted by cancer. To celebrate, the blonde bombshells have a goal of raising $185,000 at the 2023 event to reach $1 million raised over the past decade.
The 10th Marilyn Jetty Swim will take place on Sunday 5 February as a part of the Channel 7 Brighton Jetty Classic. To donate and support the bold, fabulous South Australians taking part in the Marilyn Jetty Swim visit themarilyns.org.