(CBS) — It began in San Francisco with a swim from Alcatraz, since then it’s become an international event. Now it’s coming to Chicago.

Sharkfest 2014 event organizer Kristen Ahern says it’s a one mile swim at Ohio Street Beach and it benefits Northwestern’s Transplant Village.

“Transplant Village is a community of patients, family donors and courageous organ donors and we’re driven to give back to Northwestern Medicine’s Comprehensive Transplant Center.”

Ahern had a liver transplant two and a half years ago. She say swimming saved her life post surgery. She says the event is also a good training event for tri-athletes and hopes the August 9 event will raise money and awareness about Transplant Village and its mission.

“To my knowledge, we are the only transplant support group in the United States. I know when I went through my transplant, I never had a support group to help me get through what I went through this. It’s kinda neat that we are spearheading this and getting other people involved.”

The Chicago Sharkfest Swim will be a one-mile triangular shaped course in Lake Michigan starting and finishing at the Ohio Street Beach next to Olive Park. Anticipated water temperature should be in the low-mid 70’s.

Swim start will be on the beach in waves of 50 swimmers each. The swim waves are self-seeded based on ability (fastest to slowest) with two minutes between waves. There will be life guards in kayaks, paddleboards, and boats on the entire route. Spectators will be able to walk along the top of sea wall to observe the swim. Post event festivities will take place at the grassy area behind the beach.

Sharkfest swims are also held in Boston, Charleston, San Diego and Lake Tahoe.
For more information, log onto sharkfestswim.com.

Watch & Listen LIVE