Man stops in Memphis during cross-country trek - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man stops in Memphis during cross-country trek

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(WMC-TV) - Alzheimer's disease impacts millions of people each year in this country. One man who is on a mission to raise awareness and money passed through Memphis this weekend to share the story of his journey of a lifetime.

Jack Fussell runs at least 20 miles a day for a cause that hits close to home.

"I left Skidaway Island state park South of Savannah on January the 12, and I am running to Monterey, California," he said. "My dad died with Alzheimer's in 2000. Six of his brothers and sisters died with Alzheimer's."

Fussell is running to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association. He continued his journey as he hit the pavement Sunday morning from Collerville to Memphis.

"And he wants people to know that it's a very real disease and it needs national attention," said Susan Crowson of the Alzheimer's Association.

While in Memphis Fussell visited the Methodist Healthcare Hospice Home.

"I get so much out of coming to a place like this," he said.

His intent to help others may have saved his own life. In 2001 he weighed 272 pounds, and almost died from a bleeding ulcer.

His only companion on this journey is a jogging stroller he named Wilson which carries 70 pounds of supplies. But he is not lonely.

"Yesterday, I got stopped seven times beside the road, people wanting to talk to me about their Alzheimer's story," said Fussell.

Fussell hopes his run will teach others there is help out there for the millions of people impacted by Alzheimer's.

"For the first time probably in my life, I'm not running away from sad things, which is what I think we tend to do as humans, and I'm going to them because I wish I would have done this a long time ago," he said.

The Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline provides reliable information and support to all those who need assistance. The number is 1.800.272.3900.

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