Chris Praetzel has been gone Since May 23 on an epic trek across America and was sighted along Highway 10 near the Emery/Carbon County line on Friday.
In an interview with etv10news.com, Praetzel described his goal of walking and running from the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles and ultimately reaching the waters of the Atlantic for a very special purpose.
Praetzel’s brother, who he describes as his “best friend,” suffered kidney failure when he was just three and nearly died. That incident spurred the quest that Praetzel’s undertaken this year.
вЂњI donвЂ™t know what I would do without my brother so I am doing this to spread awareness and to tell people to check the box to be a donor on their license.,” he said.
He explained how only 42 percent of people are registered donors and more than 100,000 are on the organ donor waiting list.
Praetzel has been literally on the road since May 23 and has covered over 700 miles. Friday he was on Highway 10 between Carbon and Emery County and was then spotted on Helper’s Main Street just before noon Saturday.
He doesn’t know when his trek will conclude because as he said, “you have no idea what you will encounter on your journey including the forest fires here (in Carbon and Emery Counties).”
In preparation for his journey, Praetzel trained extensively for months. He was injured during training but decided to push through the pain and continue.
Though he walks and runs without sponsors, he said that any money he receives by way of donations will then be given directly to Donate Life America and the Gift of Life Donor Program.
Praeztel camps or stays in churches along the way.
“What he is doing is really awesome,” said a woman who stopped along Highway 10. “It’s really great how he is raising awareness. I could definiety never do that.”
Those wishing to follow Praetzel during his journey may do so by going to brotherlyloverun.blogspot.com.