Surgeon Swims Catalina Channel

Courtesy Peter Attia

Growing up in Toronto, Peter Attia was inspired by cancer victim Terry Fox, who in 1980 attempted to run across Canada with a prosthetic leg. So when Attia, MD ’01, decided to swim the perilous Catalina Channel, it was both a personal quest and a way to honor Fox’s legacy.

A few minutes after midnight on October 11, Attia waded into the Pacific near Catalina Island, and 10 1/2 hours later he emerged on a beach below Point Vicente Lighthouse on the California coast. A surgical resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., Attia told the Los Angeles Times that while his 22-mile swim “paled in comparison” to Fox’s 143-day odyssey, he hoped it raised awareness about the Terry Fox Foundation, which has raised more than $360 million for cancer research.