How far would you go for your child?
For Chris Brannigan (41) the answer is clear: As far as your feet can carry. The major in the British Army runs around 2000 kilometers across the USA and barefoot! Brannigan wants to collect donations for his seriously ill daughter Hasti (9).
Little Hasti suffers from Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS), a rare disease that can lead to premature aging, stunted growth and learning difficulties.
Doctors diagnosed Hasti with CdLS in 2018. For the parents Chris and his wife Hengameh (43) they have two bad news: the disease would noticeably restrict their daughter even before puberty. There is no treatment or even a chance of a cure. Because the disease has hardly been researched.
That is exactly what Papa Chris wants to change with his 2000 kilometer march through the USA. As of August 31, he’s been walking barefoot from Maine to North Carolina to raise $ 3.4 million in donations. The money will be used to research Hastis disease and maybe even a way to cure it.
The barefoot march should last a total of 53 days. Brannigan has already covered 450 kilometers and arrived in Boston on Sunday.
Brannigan is ready to suffer for his ambitious goal: the soldier marches 30 to 50 kilometers, not only barefoot, but also with a 25-pound backpack on his shoulders. “With the extra weight, my feet feel terrible all the time,” he told the New York Post. “It’s really hard to do something every day when you know it will hurt and your body is telling you to stop.”
Even so, Papa Chris doesn’t think about giving up: “Hasti has a rare disease and there will be no treatment if we don’t create it. There is no investment from the pharmaceutical industry or from governments. These diseases make parents stand up for their children. And if I don’t take the steps, there will be no treatment for CdLS. “
Just three weeks earlier, Brannigan ran 1,120 kilometers from Scotland’s northernmost point in Land’s End to Edinburgh. The Briton collected 531,000 dollars (450,000 euros) for his aid organization “Hope for Hasti”. Also this time he has a donation page