After High School Accident Leaves Him Paralyzed Illinois Man Will Be Pushed 26 Miles by Long-Time FriendLOS ANGELES, March 16, 2011
LA Marathon—Sun. March 20, 2011
GOAL TO RAISE $1,000 FOR JAPAN QUAKE, TSUNAMI RELIEF
—Running was not always Chris Ackerman’s strong point. Consistently coming in last place on his high school track team, he admired classmate Doug Shull who ran sub-5-minute miles, and had a successful career of athletics ahead. Although Chris was admittedly the slowest on the team, the two of them dreamt about one day running a marathon together. However, on the last day of summer before their junior year of high school, Doug’s fate instantly changed when we broke his neck on the bottom of the lake, paralyzing him from the head down.“I remember the day Doug came back to school,” said Chris. “The entire student body was lined against the lockers, applauding and cheering as he came down the hall. There wasn’t a single dry eye there,” he added.
After the accident, Doug and Chris’ friendship only strengthened. They attended college together, landed jobs with big corporations, settled down with a wife and started a family. With Doug as his inspiration, Chris has since completed more than 100 races, some of which he came in first place. Now, 25 years after their first LA Marathon
in ‘86, Chris, now 53, and Doug, 54, are hitting the course again—Doug in his wheelchair, and Chris pushing him for 26 miles.“This is a celebration of running; it’s not a race against the clock. It’s a celebration of Doug being here and being a tremendous inspiration,” said Chris. “We have a mutual admiration for each other,” agreed Doug.Race for Japan:
This time, the duo has a goal of raising $1,000 for relief efforts in Japan
, after the devastating 9.0 quake and tsunami hit the country on March 11th. The funds will go to World Vision
, a global relief organization that is currently on the ground in Japan. "The devastation and helplessness in Japan right now it so overwhelming,” said Doug. “Whatever small part we can do to help, we'll do."Get involved:
Help Doug and Chris reach their $1,000 Japan fund-raising goal:http://www.hallan.com/dougsmarathon/About World VisionWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor -- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press
or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews