Dad walks barefoot through Richmond on 1,200 journey to raise awareness for daughter’s rare disease
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - One Army dad is passing through Richmond, onto Petersburg, in a mission to spread awareness about his daughter’s rare genetic disease. He’s also doing it entirely barefoot.
British Army Major Chris Brannigan started his 1,200-mile journey in Bar Harbor, Maine, and will continue walking until he reaches Jacksonville, North Carolina. He walks nearly every day, barefoot, to raise money to help fund research for his 9-year-old daughter, Hasti.
Hasti suffers from CDLS or Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. There is no known cure and can cause seizures and anxiety. Brannigan said he hopes his journey will inspire others to think more about rare diseases, and the real effects they have on families.
“It doesn’t feel like I’m doing anything special, I’m just doing what any parent would do for their child,” Brannigan said. “My child shouldn’t have to suffer because we don’t know enough about her disease, there should be more funding for those no matter how many people are afflicted.”
Brannigan has previously completed a grueling 700-mile walk in the United Kingdom. Since then, he’s raised $1.2 million toward a $3.5 million goal, which he said is needed before clinical trials, research and gene therapy can begin.
Brannigan’s charity, Hope for Hasti, keeps track of his journey on Facebook and also accepts donations on their website.
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