Cross-country runner encourages compassion while raising awareness of cystic fibrosis
by Steve Kadel
staff writer
Dec 20, 2012 | 689 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 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.
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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 www.morethanjustmiles.org.

“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.


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