WASHINGTON (WDVM) — A D.C. teacher is taking a sabbatical to run across the country to raise money for cancer research. The fundraiser is in honor of a former colleague of his who died within a year of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis. She was in her forties.

So far, Jarad Schofer has raised over $23,200 of his $100,000 goal. He started in Santa Monica on March 14 and runs about 35 miles a day. We interviewed him on Wednesday when he was in Barling, Arkansas. 

“It’s about 90% torture, 10% fun,” Schofer said with a laugh. He says the trip has been a mix of loneliness, isolation, and fear. “There’s long stretches without food and water — like 95 miles, 87 miles, 65 miles. ‘Where do I sleep tonight?’ is a common question.” 

Schofer is making his way cross country with a stroller that stores his food, water, camping gear, and clothes. He’s no stranger to challenges: he’s run from Pittsburgh to D.C. and across the state of Tennessee. 

“To have people follow along and see how much I’m grinding and suffering every day, I think it makes them feel like, ‘Well, I can at least donate some money towards the cause to make him feel better,’ cause it is like wings to my feet,” he said. Schofer keeps his followers up to speed via Instagram. On Thursday he told viewers he’d finally found Advil to soothe the pain of a muscle pull near his right shinbone.

“It’s basically the muscle you use when you walk on the left side of the road to navigate the winding road,” he said on an Instagram story. “If I could alternate and walk 50% on the other side it would probably be fine, but I can’t.” 

Schofer is raising money on the Cancer Research Institute’s website and by Venmo (@jarad2112). 

“You know, it just sucks to receive the news that you have cancer and that it could potentially be terminal,” Schofer said, “and I try to keep in mind that that’s probably got to be harder than me grinding through this for 90 days or so.”