DALTON, GA (WRCB) -- A Georgia man is pounding the pavement with purpose. His coast-to-coast journey will take him from Savannah, Georgia to Monterey, California. His main goal is to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's.
Jack Fussell said, "I'm 62 and a lot of people have given a lot to get me to this age. So at some point you've gotta stop and start giving back."
3,591 miles from coastal Georgia to the Pacific Ocean on foot by a man who was once told he may never take another step.
"My bleeding ulcer was so bad I lost a lot of blood. The doctor said do you want the truth. I said yes. He said your organs are all trying to shut down you might have two hours to live," said Fussell.
That was 12 years ago. Fussell quickly changed his lifestyle, he dropped 100 pounds and got active. He set five long distance running goals which he finished two years ago.
"Within two days I started feeling depressed and realized it was because for the first time in six years I didn't have a goal," said Fussell.
Nine months before his near death experience, his father died with Alzheimer's marking his seventh relative who lost a battle with the deadly disease. It suddenly hit him. This was his calling, a journey across America with only his stroller ironically named Wilson from the movie Cast Away.
The goal $250,000 all for the Alzheimer's Association.
"To watch my dad go from a really jolly cool guy that played around with the kids to being in that hospital bed and not knowing anybody or anything."
Now Fussell is preparing for that same feeling. Not knowing what or who is ahead.
The difference he'll remember it, all in hopes that his money raised will help those who battle Alzheimer's one day remember too, "I don't know anyone in these other states. I have no idea what's going to happen, but I'll get there. I have the faith that it's going to happen. I hope my dad is watching and I hope he's proud."
So far Jack has raised $12,000. He has more than 3,000 miles left to reach $250,000. You can donate by visiting WWW.AcrossTheLand2013.com
Friday, May 24 2013 10:56 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:56:32 GMT
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