Blind man running to four corners of America for sick granddaughter



Posted on May 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Updated Thursday, May 15 at 6:05 PM

He's travelling light, but David Kuhn carries with him a heavy burden.

The Illinois man was in Seattle Thursday, starting the first leg of an odyssey that will eventually bring him right back here in about 18 months.

Kuhn is running from Seattle to Maine, down to Florida, back across the country to San Diego and then back to Washington, a trek of 11,000 miles. He's doing it 25 miles at time -- essentially running a marathon every day for the next year and a half.

"I just take it one step at a time," he said.

As if that weren't enough, Kuhn is blind. He lost his eyesight when he was hit by a drunk driver nearly 33 years ago. On Thursday he left Seattle's Myrtle Edwards Parks with the assistance of guides from Club Northwest. Teams of volunteer guides will help Kuhn cross the country. 

Kuhn is an accomplished runner, but you have to wonder what would make a 61-year-old retiree take on something like this.

It isn't for personal glory.

"I'm just a scared and heartbroken grandfather," he explained.

Fear is indeed a great motivator. Kuhn fears losing his granddaughter, Kylie. She has Cystic Fibrosis. It's incurable. If Kylie is lucky she'll live to be 35, which means that at just 11 years old she's likely already lived a third of her life.

"If I can extend her life by any amount, then every step and every day will be worth it," said Kuhn, choking back tears.

Kuhn plans to raise $500,000 for Cystic Fibrosis research, hoping it will save his beloved Kylie or someone else's child. 

"I don't want to look back and regret that I didn't do this for her, and for all the others, too."

It will be a brutal year and a half -- one that will test Kuhn in ways he hasn't even imagined. But he runs with a vision that will inspire him until the very end.

"That's all I have to do is think about her, talk to her, talk to my daughter and I'm off and running."

Kuhn will need help with guides, lodging and donations throughout his journey. You can find out more by visiting Dave Kuhn's blog. You can also track his trek on Twitter @allicandoisrun.