March 21, 2011 — Murrysville, Pennsylvania, Darren E. Miller has embarked on an ambitious endeavor and has set a goal to complete what is regarded as the world’s seven most difficult channel swims. This challenge, dubbed the “Ocean’s Seven,” has never been accomplished by anyone to date and consists of swimming across seven of the world’s channels: the English, Catalina, Moloka’i, Irish and Tsugaru Channels, Cook Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar.
Miller completed the first leg of this challenge last summer to become the 833rd person to swim across the English Channel, known as the “Mount Everest” of open water swimming. With his “Ocean’s Seven” goal in sight, Miller hopes to complete the swim across the Catalina Channel in August 2011 and Molokai Channel in September 2011.
In preparation of these physically demanding swims, Miller has continued his strict regiment from his English Channel training, which includes stringent dietary restrictions and physical conditioning through participation in ultra-marathons, ultra-cycling and marathon swimming races. Miller also routinely practices in Lake Erie and Keystone Lake in order to acclimatize his body to swimming in the natural elements and harsh weather conditions he may face while swimming the Catalina and Molokai Channels. The rules require participants to swim in Speedos, despite the potential for significantly low water temperatures. Therefore, Miller has developed ways to strategically build his body’s cold water tolerance. According to Miller, these techniques include swimming outdoors all winter long, taking only cold showers and maintaining a home temperature of about 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
In order to generate the $5,000-$10,000 necessary for Miller to participate in each swim of the “Ocean’s Seven” challenge and raise proceeds to benefit the “Forever Fund,” Miller is accepting charitable donations on his website at darren-miller.com. Though completing the “Ocean’s Seven” challenge is a personal goal for Miller, it also serves a more meaningful purpose for him. All donations to his website benefit the “Forever Fund,” a charitable foundation in which Miller played an integral role in establishing along with Cathy Cartieri Mehl and their families. The “Forever Fund” is dedicated to the memory of Mehl’s father, Anthony Frank Cartieri, and aids families in their struggle to afford the costs associated with infant cardiothoracic surgery that takes place in the cardiothoracic unit of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Without insurance, the families of children who are born with heart conditions and require life saving surgeries at a young age cannot afford to pay for those surgeries and related medical costs. According to Greg Barrett, President of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, “I am in awe of the commitment Darren E. Miller has made to the “Forever Fund.” Miller has a heart of gold and is a fierce competitor. He is the embodiment of courage and faith and we are grateful for his passion.”
Contributions can also be made by purchasing EnergyCare USA products through Miller’s website.
As one of Miller’s supporting sponsors, EnergyCare will donate 30% of each sale referenced from his page to Team Forever, which manages contributions to the “Forever Fund.” Every contribution is important to the cause and such charitable donations to the “Forever Fund” will not only help save lives, but will provide the opportunity for funding of vital medical research concerning infant cardiothoracic care.
Team Forever, a non-profit organization which manages contributions to the “Forever Fund,” was established by Darren E. Miller and Cathy Cartieri Mehl in December 2009. The “Forever Fund” is a foundation dedicated to the memory of Mehl’s father, Anthony Frank Cartieri and aids families in their struggle to afford the costs associated with infant cardiothoracic surgery that takes place in the cardiothoracic unit of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The “Forever Fund” not only helps to save lives, but provides the opportunity for funding of vital medical research concerning infant cardiothoracic care. Information pertaining to Team Forever and the “Forever Fund” can be found on Darren E. Miller’s website at www.darren-miller.com.