Father Is a Man on a Mission, Walking Barefooted From North Carolina to Maine

by Matthew Memrick
father-is-man-mission-walking-barefooted-north-carolina-to-maine

Walking 1,200 miles barefoot is one way a British man hopes to bring attention to his daughter’s rare medical condition.

British Army Major Chris Brannigan, 41, faces a challenging walk from Maine to North Carolina in the hopes of raising money for his 9-year-old child. 

Doctors diagnosed Hasti with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome in 2018, according to Fox News

The rare condition can cause reduced growth, developmental delay, cognitive impairment, premature aging, and limb abnormalities. One out of 20,000 will learn of the diagnosis.

Brannigan and his wife, Hengameh, started the charity and named it Hope for Hasti. The charity’s mission is to help fund medical research into CdLS.

Charity’s Bareboot March

Chris Brannigan’s latest fundraising effort involves a challenging walk. The Hope for Hasti Bareboot March, a 53-day trek from Maine to North Carolina, started on Aug. 31.

Chris Brannigan walking down paved roads barefoot wearing a neon shirt that asks, “How far would you go for your child?” With the goal of 20 to 30 miles a day, he carries a rucksack filled with camping stuff that likely weighs 55 pounds.

The proud father talks to people about Hasti while trying to get through the pains of the arduous march. He juggles the physical pains while working with social media and lots of other things.

“So every day is really full,” Chris said. “It’s quite taxing.”

But he knows his physical pain is nothing compared to his daughter’s lifelong struggles.

“Hasti has a rare condition, and there’s not going to be a treatment unless we create it because there are no investments from pharma, from governments,” Chris Brannigan said. “These conditions need parents to advocate for their kids. And if I don’t keep taking steps, there’s not going to be a treatment for CDLs.”

On Sunday, Sept. 12, Chris Brannigan was in Boston.

“He will finish his day at Boston Children Hospital (BCH), where he will be welcomed by Dr. Timothy Yu and some of the other research team in BCH,” the charity wrote in an emailed statement. 

Barefoot Walk Has Raised Lots Of Money

So far, Chris Brannigan has raised a fantastic amount. Before his American journey, he walked 700 miles from Land’s End in England to Edinburgh, Scotland.

He took in $531,000 from over 21,000 supporters using JustGiving.com.

This Hope for Hasti barefoot walk has collected $62,524 with a goal of $3.4 million for CdLS research at The Jackson Laboratory in Maine. Researchers at that facility are close to a clinical trial with a new treatment.

People who want to contribute to CdLS research can donate through Hope fo Hasti’s active GoFundMe and JustGiving campaigns.

Chris Brannigan is updating people on the Barefoot March on Facebook and Twitter.

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