On Feb. 28, World Rare Disease Day, Noah
Coughlan, 27, of Vacaville, Calif., began a 2,400 mile run across the southern
United States to raise awareness of Batten disease, a rare, fatal disorder that
Coughlan will travel from Oceanside, Calif., to
Jacksonville, Fla., averaging 25 to 30 miles on foot per day with a support
vehicle close behind. Cities on the route include Phoenix, Ariz., Dallas, Tex.,
New Orleans, LA (Northshore area), Mobile, Ala., and Tallahassee, Fla. Coughlan
is projected to reach Jacksonville on July 9.
“When I first got the idea for the run, I thought
it was crazy,” said Coughlan. “But, the more I thought about the good that it
could do for these children and their families, the more I wanted to turn the
idea into a reality – to run for children who will never have the chance to
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