Moraga man vows to 'swim-a-million' yards for cancer research

MORAGA, Calif. (KGO) -- David Miller started 2020 with a promise to himself: swim 1,000,000 yards by the end of the year to raise money for cancer research.

Little did he know what 2020 had in store for him.

He had been swimming at the Soda Aquatic Center at Campolindo High School until the pandemic hit and the pool was forced to close.

Because he worked there as a lifeguard, he was able to use the pool but said he had to wear a wetsuit because they shut off the heater.

"I don't like swimming in the cold," Miller quipped.

Then came the summer and fall, when wildfire smoke blanked Moraga for weeks at a time.

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"The smoke was worse than the cold," he said, not able to swim for several days.

But he pressed on, knowing that the effort he was putting into it paled in comparison to what cancer patients face.

"The physical challenge is for me," he said. "But I thought, if I'm going to do this I might as well raise some money as well."

Then came the summer and fall, when wildfire smoke blanked Moraga for weeks at a time.

His charity of choice is the Cancer Research Institute.

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While he says, he has not had cancer himself, he has been surrounded by it.

"My father passed from lung cancer. My mom has survived three bouts of cancer. My sister has had cancer. A cousin, an uncle ,an aunt, close friends. It seems like everyone I know has been touched or is dealing with cancer," he said.

As of early December he was nearing his goal of 1,000,000 yards, the equivalent of 568 miles.

He was further behind on his fundraising goal, having raised about 20,000 of a 100,000 goal.

To follow his last month and to donate, check out his website.
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