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Man Swims English Channel For Cancer Research

A Springboro man swims the English Channel to raise money for cancer research.   On August 1st, Kyle Poland swam from England to France in honor of a friend with bone marrow cancer.
Local 12 News Reporter Angela Ingram spoke with Kyle about his journey through a brutal body of water.

Kyle says the average time for a solo crossing is about 16 hours and he made it in just over 11 hours.  He was stung six times by jellyfish, three times in his face, but says raising money for a cure was worth all of it.  The pond in back of Kyle's home is nothing compared to what he swam a couple of weeks ago. 

Thursday, he was back in the water swimming for the first time since his trip to England.  Kyle has been swimming it since he was six-years-old.  In early August, he accomplished a feat few can master.  He swam the English Channel. 

"You do some swimming with triathlons.  So I've done two-and-a-half mile swims before, but this was a 20 mile swim.  So, it was definitely a lot farther than i was used to," said Kyle.

The water temperature was in the low 60's.  Kyle trained for two years and had to gain weight so he wouldn't suffer hypothermia. 

"I signed up to when I went over.  I signed up, I was 180 pounds and when I started the swim I was 215 pounds and when I finished the swim i was 200 pounds." 

Kyle made it to France in just over 11 hours.  His inspiration was his friend, 73-year-old Diana Davis.  Diana was suffering from bone marrow cancer.  Kyle and Diana met her through an organization called Miles That Matter. 

Founder Karen Cosgrove explains, "The purpose of the organization was to encourage people to get fit and at the same time payback in the community."

Karen organized the trip for Kyle to raise money for cancer research in Diana's honor. 

"He was there for her.  You know, he gave her hope, he gave her meaning." 
Diana was also there for him - sending pictures of encouragement before the swim and watching his progress on the internet.  She lived just long enough to see her friend make it across the channel.  Kyle was hoping to celebrate the swim with Diana, but she died just days before his return home to Springboro. 
Kyle said, "At least I did the swim and knew that she was around and got to finish it out with me, too."  Karen added, "The swim that Kyle and Diana did was incredible.  It's made a difference and we won't stop.  We will continue doing this until we find a cure." 

Diana's friends say she was an amazing person.  She ran her first half-marathon, The Flying Pig, when she was 67-years-old. 

Kyle says about only half of the people who try to swim the channel actually make it.  His swim raised $23,000 for bone marrow cancer research.  The organization, Miles That Matter, hopes to raise $40,000 for research by the end of September.  We have a link about the organization on our website.  Click the red "Get It" button.




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