Cross-country runner encourages compassion while raising awareness of cystic fibrosis
by Steve Kadel
staff writer
Dec 20, 2012 | 2184 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tommy Danger runs with a rainbow behind him during his cross-country trip to raise money for cystic fibrosis research. He began running in Seattle and hopes to conclude the odyssey in Florida, logging 18 miles a day.                                 Courtesy photo.
Tommy Danger runs with a rainbow behind him during his cross-country trip to raise money for cystic fibrosis research. He began running in Seattle and hopes to conclude the odyssey in Florida, logging 18 miles a day. Courtesy photo.

He has climbed mountains, run with the bulls in Spain, and skydived at 13,000 feet.

Now Tommy Danger is running across America to raise money for cystic fibrosis research and to educate people about the illness. He stopped in Moab on Saturday, Dec. 15, the 66th day of his run since leaving Seattle.

Danger averages 18 miles a day and rarely takes a rest day. He encourages people to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation via his website at

“It’s a brutal disease,” said Danger, who became interested when a friend’s child was born with cystic fibrosis.

The inherited disease affects the lungs and digestive system. About 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. suffer from it along with an estimated 70,000 worldwide, according to the foundation’s website.

The disease causes the body to produce unusually thick mucus that clogs the lungs, resulting in life-threatening lung infections. It also can obstruct the pancreas, preventing natural enzymes from helping the body absorb food.

Danger, 30, emphasizes that 100 percent of the donations from his website go to the foundation, which uses 90 percent of the money directly for research.

He gets support during his trans-continental run from Timothy Ettridge, a retired pilot who follows Danger in a van. They park the vehicle off the road and sleep in it when they’re unable to get motel rooms from sponsors.

Danger said he saved money for several years to afford food and gasoline during the trip, although restaurants occasionally offer free meals, as the Blu Pig did during Danger’s stay in Moab.

Protein bars and Gatorade have been donated, he added.

Danger blogs about his adventure on his website, often describing conditions such as running through marshes to reach better terrain. In Utah, he said snowfall turned a dirt trail to mud.

“It felt like I had ankle weights on,” he said, although he praised the “nice trail into Moab.”

He hopes to reach Daytona Beach by April 13 – running the last 100 miles nonstop.

Danger has plans for other endurance events once the run is over, including trying to summit the highest mountain on each continent.

While he’s committed to raising money for cystic fibrosis research, Danger is also spreading the word about another topic through his visits with people along the route. He wants people to be more compassionate in their daily lives.

“We need to trust each other a little more,” he said.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.