Meet David Kuhn. My hero. David is a devoted, loving grandpa who has decided to tackle an unbelievable feat at the age of 62. He is running around the perimeter of the United States – from Seattle, WA – east to Bangor, ME – south to Jacksonville, FL – west to San Diego, CA – and north to Seattle again. 11,000 miles in total! David’s goal is to average 20 miles per day, every day for approximately 18 months. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention – David is blind.
Yesterday, David took an hour from his day of running to chat with RunHaven, and now we are even more impressed. You see, David is doing this alone. He has no support staff on the road, no van following him with aid, no dedicated person to get him from the bus station to the hotel, or even from the hotel front desk to his room. He does have a trusted Run Manager, Renee, who sets up as much on the ground support as possible, but as you can imagine, the logistics of this gargantuan task is nearly impossible to fulfill. Sometimes the hotel will be expecting David and will give him assistance, other times David simply waits for a kind passerby and asks “can I hitch a ride”.
“I have had so many wonderful things happen to me as direct result of losing my eyesight that, if my ophthalmologist told me that if you get here tomorrow I can restore your eyesight, I would tell him no. “
So why does he do it? David’s motivation is his 12-year-old granddaughter Kylie, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, a terminal genetic disease that attacks mostly the lungs, pancreas, liver and intestine. If Kylie is lucky she will live to be 35, which means a third of her life has already passed at the tender age of 12. David’s daughter is a nurse and she does everything that she can for Kylie, and in turn, he does what he knows best to help. He runs.
“When I consider some of the struggles that Kylie and people with cystic fibrosis, my aches and pains (from the run) are really nothing, because I can quit. I can say tomorrow is it and they can’t!”
Kuhn hopes to raise $500,000 for cystic fibrosis research, and says, “if I can extend Kylie’s life by any amount then every step and every day will be worth it.” He is currently on day 42 of his U.S. circumvention and is in Billings, Montana with 700 miles behind him, and 10,300 to go.
Over the next 17 months, David will be relying on local athletes to keep him company and guide him during his runs. If you would like to help David by guiding him as he runs through your town, or by making a donation to his cause, then please check out the links below.