Everyday Hero: 'Adventureman' Jamie McDonald is running across the US for kids
We meet with Jamie McDonald of Gloucester, England near the beginning of his several thousand mile run across America to raise money for a children's hospital.
This everyday hero comes with his own cape. ...
There's a reason McDonald is so at ease at Doernbecher Children's Hospital coloring with kids waiting for their appointments.
It started when he was five.
“I looked down at my legs and I couldn't move them,” McDonald said. “My dad was with me. It was just a really scary time.”
McDonald was diagnosed with a rare spinal condition and spent the next several years in and out of the hospital.
“I got a lot of help from the hospital and at about 9 years old, I got my health, and now I'm just really, really lucky,” he said. “I do stupid-big adventures, but fundraising for kids' hospitals along the way.”
The adventures began with a cheap bicycle he bought for 50 pounds, which he rode from England to Bangkok.
Then he ran across Canada, losing a piece of his nose to frostbite.
“So now I’m in America, and for me this is one of the best countries in the world, and this is the place I can make a difference,” he said. “But this most recent adventure may be the toughest of all -- running across America, a total of 5,000 miles from the westernmost point on the West Coast to the easternmost point on the East Coast.
He started last month at Point Alava in the rain forest of Washington state.
“I was absolutely terrified, because I got running and I suddenly realized actually, America’s pretty big,” he said. “I've got 230 marathons to cover and it's just me.”
Just a few days into the trip, McDonald was running and exhausted when a small boy invited him to his house. His mom was making spaghetti and elk-sauce.
“I've got a stroller that I push,” he said. “So it's totally solo. So I depend on Americans to feed me and help me through as the journey unfolds. This is one of the reasons why I came to America because I already knew that Americans are just big hearted, kind people, and it's already started.
This trip is taking him down the West Coast to Los Angeles, and then across the south to Disney World, which holds a special place in his heart.
“That's where my parents took me on a lifetime holiday when I was 8 years old, and they didn't know the outcome of my life. So that's my memory of America -- to run there, if I make it, that would be special.”
McDonald is documenting his latest adventure on social media and YouTube as he pushes a children's three-wheeled stroller that includes his tent, sleeping bag and everything he owns.