Man Passes Through Waleska On His Cross Country Run for Alzheimer’s Awareness

Fussell with student Eryn Speer. Jack Fussell is a man of perseverance and determination. At the mere age of three, he was run over by a car and was later told that he may never walk again. He proved doctors wrong. A little over a decade ago, Fussell was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer and organ failure. This time he was told that he might not survive. It was after this particular illness that Fussell decided to live a more healthy life. Due to his new lifestyle choices, Fussell lost over one hundred pounds and became a healthy individual. He proved doctors wrong again. The fact that this man is alive today is, in itself, amazing.

Inspired by the death of his father in 2000 and his diagnosis of organ failure in 2001, Fussell made the decision to run across the country, from Savannah to Monterey, to raise money and awareness for a worthy cause,  the Alzheimer’s Association. For ten years Fussell has trained intensively, running up and down the stairs at Amicalola Falls State Park. On January 12, 62-year-old Fussell was finally able to begin his long-anticipated journey. His goal is to raise $250,000 for the Alzheimer’s cause and raise awareness for the disease with each step.

On February 13, just three weeks into his journey, Reinhardt University students were given the opportunity to meet and run with Mr. Fussell. He was extremely kind and seemed eager to share information about his purpose in running across the nation and the voyage itself. He informed students that he stops at all the nursing homes that he passes and spends time with the people living there. According to Fussell, this journey is “a celebration of life”, and he wants to share that with everyone that he can.

Fussell said that his trip was originally planned to take six months, but will probably end up taking closer to nine due to these frequent stops. In response to student questioning, he informed individuals that he runs an average of eighteen miles each day and that, when housing isn’t available, he sleeps in the tent he carries along with him.

Jack Fussell is truly an inspiration. As this extraordinary man continues along his nine-month journey, he encourages others to come out and run alongside him. If anyone is interested in participating in his run across the nation or if one is simply interested in being updated about how his journey is progressing, visit his personal website: Fussel also has a Facebook and Twitter account under the same name.

Kelcey Caulder, Managing Editor & Meagan Hurley, Editor In Chief

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