Swimmer Doug McConnell is circled by a boat and a kayaker as he begins his swim Sept. 13 near Lighthouse Beach on his way from Evanston to Chicago to raise money for ALS research. 

CHICAGO — When Doug McConnell reaches 100 swim strokes, he thinks about his father. At 400, he thinks about his sister.

He thought about both of them last week when he swam 19,220 strokes in Lake Michigan from Evanston, Illinois, to downtown Chicago to raise funds toward finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a terminal disease with no cure. He lost his father in 2006 to the disease, and in 2018, his sister.


Doug McConnell wears his ALS mask as he prepares to start his swim Sept. 13.

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