Garth Watson started running in California on May 11— and won’t stop until he reaches New York City’s Central Park on August 13, having raised over $14,000 for cancer research.

Watson, 24, is running for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), which brings researchers together to collaborate in groundbreaking cancer research. On September 5, SU2C will hold its fourth primetime TV fundraiser, a live broadcast featuring celebrities and cancer success stories.

“I found out about SU2C about three years ago and immediately was just so into everything they were doing— bringing in all different researchers together and creating new ways to speed up cancer research,” Watson, who grew up in Canton, Pa., told “I wanted to be a part of it. That’s when I came across the idea to run across America.”

Since starting in Oceanside, Calif., Watson has run 40 miles a day— that’s 280 miles a week— and usually takes off one day a week, depending on how he feels. His father, Frank, has been driving a support RV along the way and helping him map his running route.

Setting small goals— like marking every 500 miles or every state he ran through— has kept Watson in a positive mindset. He’s been lucky enough to avoid major injuries on his trek.

During his run, the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania grad has gone through small towns and has been met with support from strangers, including farmers on whose property the father-son team would rest.

“Everyone we’ve run into has been just really nice,” he said “A lot of people we come across will say they’ve lost somebody to cancer, so it’s just a reminder of what I’m out here running for.”

Click to donate to Stand Up to Cancer through Watson’s Crowdrise page.