JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Finding a Hope for Hasti. That’s what keeps father Chris Brannigan going.
Brannigan is walking from Maine to North Carolina without a pair of shoes. It’s all to give his daughter a better life.
“Hasti and I would go for little barefoot walks just a half-mile around our house and we really enjoyed those, we’d have chats all the time,” Brannigan said. “She’s got it into her mind now that this walk will allow me to bring home her new medicine.”
Hasti is in need of gene therapy. She has CdLS, a rare disease that affects growth, cognition and more. This is making it hard for the little girl to live a normal life.
“Like all 9-year-old girls, she loves jumping on the trampoline, swimming, ballet classes,” the dad said. “Her passion is cooking. She’s always in the kitchen peeling carrots and potatoes and chopping things up. She would really love to be a chef someday.”
The clock is ticking to get this treatment, as her condition is supposed to worsen around age 12. The issue is it costs $3.5 million to create a clinical trial for the disease.
“The thought we could change her fate is what keeps me going,” Brannigan said. “It’s huge, it’s all I can really think about every day.”
Which is why her dad is walking 1,200 miles … barefoot!
“Every time someone sees me walking barefoot they do a double-take because its so bizarre and very painful, and that’s the idea is to get people to look twice,” he said.
Brannigan’s final destination will be in Jacksonville at Camp Lejeune. He hopes to finish his journey there in late October.
“I served in the British army for 14 years, I thought it would be great to finish with my people and military family,” Brannigan said.
He still has more than 800 miles to walk.
“Every day my feet get a bit more sensitive and a bit more bruised,” he said. “I just have to keep going. I just keep thinking about what Hasti wants and what she deserves and that keeps me making steps.”
The nonprofit has raised over $1 million already. Brannigan said while this seems like a lot of money, they still need to double that to help his daughter and others like her.
Brannigan said every donation matters. To donate, visit this link.