15-year-old girl swims 28.5 miles around Manhattan to raise money for cancer research

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Monday, July 17, 2023
15-year-old girl swims 28.5 miles around Manhattan to raise money for cancer research
CeFaan Kim shares inspiring story on the 15-year-old teenage swimmer, Maya Merhige, who took almost 9 hours to complete the 20 Bridges Swim in Manhattan -- all to help raise money for cancer research.

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- A 15-year-old girl completed what is known as the 20 Bridges Swim -- a 28.5-mile swim around Manhattan -- and it was all for a good cause.

Maya Merhige joined the challenge over the weekend as part of Swim Across America to raise money for cancer research.

The high school junior from California completed the daunting task in eight hours and 43 minutes.

"Whatever I'm doing in my swimming, or whatever pain I go through in my swims, it's really nothing compared to the struggle that cancer families go through," Merhige said. "And that really pushes me to keep going forward."

Merhige swam with a team close by, including an observer and her parents supporting her journey.

Over the past eight years she has raised more than $60,000 with Swim Across America.

"Knowing that the money I'm raising makes a difference really encourages me to keep going," she said. "And through my fundraising, I hope that we can kind of end cancer."

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