Local News

Fuquay-Varina Man Running to Help Kids Breathe Easier

Posted August 11, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Most people look at the thermometer on a hot summer day and choose to stay inside. John Dowd of Fuquay-Varina is choosing to stay outdoors and start running 125 miles to New Bern. Dowd is not running for his health; he is running for the health of children with Cystic Fibrosis.

This Jaycee fundraising run begins in Fuquay-Varina and ends at a Cystic Fibrosis telethon in New Bern -- a three-day, 125-mile run.

As friends gathered to wish Dowd well, Angela Thompson brought along money for Cystic Fibrosis research. Her 4-year-old son has the disease.

"They are so close to a cure that we have to give now so we'll have a cure in his lifetime," she says.

Cystic Fibrosisis a genetic disorder in which thick mucous forms inside the pancreas and lungs. Food is not fully digested, and breathing can be difficult.

"I could really relate to that because I have asthma, and I know what it feels like to not be able to take a whole breath," says Dowd.

Dowd plans a series of six-hour runs and three-hour rest stops.

"And if I can average four miles an hour, then I can bite off 24 miles at a time," he says with confidence.

Even with temperatures daring to reach 105 degrees, Dowd still plans to keep pace.

"It may be hot out here, but it's a walk in the park compared to what these kids have to go through when they're in the middle of symptoms," he says.

If you want to donate money to Cystic Fibrosis research, you can call John Dowd's escort crew on their cell phone. The number is919-801-0358.