Diana Nyad Said She Battled 'Hell on Earth' Conditions to Achieve Swim Dream

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The latest four tries and months of training in between cost Nyad some $1 million, she said, most of which was raised through donations or corporate sponsorships. The money helped pay for boats, fuel, training, experts and the custom-made silicone mask.

When she arrived in Key West, Nyad was treated by EMTs and taken to a local hospital for a full evaluation. Doctors iced her cheeks and mouth, gave her a steroidal cream to help with the lacerations from the salt water and silicone mask, and checked her blood levels before releasing her three hours later, she said.

Nyad now plans to celebrate, starting with a parade in Key West, Tuesday night.

When asked for details about her celebration plans, Nyad quipped, "I'm an endurance person. We're starting at 7 o'clock and going to try to match the 53 hours."

Nyad said her team will take care of verifying her swim to make her record official, but she is not that interested in the process.

"It doesn't mean a thing to me anymore," she said. "People's individual reactions mean everything."

As for the future, Nyad said she will keep swimming. She plans to have a 48-hour swim marathon in New York City in October to raise money for Superstorm Sandy victims.

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