Illinois Man Visits Region 8 On Cross Country Run - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paragould, AR - Shannon Johnson Reports

Illinois Man Visits Region 8 On Cross Country Run

April 14, 2005 -- Posted at 6:14 p.m. CDT

PARAGOULD-- An Illinois man is taking the sport of cross country running to a new level. He's running from California to Virginia.

As of Thursday, Bruce Johnson, of Elllgin, Illinois has been running for 73 days.

"At the end of the day I'll have 1,933 miles," said Johnson.

At first you'd think it was about charity work, and it is, he's raising money for a womens crisis center in his hometown. But his journey is also a personal one. A herniated disk killed a nerve in his right leg leaving it 80% paralyzed.

"I've got no push off with my right leg. I really miss that, it slows me down."

But Johnson keeps pushing through this journey of life, inspiring others a long the way. He gets
e-mails from people all across the nation.

"One guy said he did 10 laps in his wheelchair around the hospital just because I inspired him."

Johnson says those inspiring e-mails keep him going. Sometimes the going gets tough, as he was leaving Oklahoma he was attacked by three dogs. His feet are very swollen but he keeps going. He hopes to arrive in Virginia Beach, Virginia around May 20th.

"I've always thought about what the finish line is going to be like how emotional I'm going to be.  I've played it over in my mind for the last five years."

Proving you don't have to let the trials of life get you down, every step of the way.

If you'd like to support Johnson in his efforts log onto

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