Coast-to-coast runner gives gift of mobility in Sturgis
STURGIS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Running for a cause. A father and his young son are on a mission to help children with special needs.
Newschannel 3's Cheri Hardmon is live in Kalamazoo with more on this pair's heartwarming journey.
Shaun and Shamus Evans have traveled thousands of miles to end up here in West Michigan Sunday. They gave one special little girl and her family with the gift of mobility.
Two-and-half-year-old Rylynn Ditmer is a fighter. Born at 24 weeks, Rylynn was diagnosed with epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Katrina Shufelt says her daughter has been beating the odds since birth.
"Watching what she does every day, they always give you the most grim of how things can turn out and she's passed those already and she is what inspires me to go run," Shufelt says.
Shufelt she says she has always wanted to take her daughter on those runs with her -- a difficult task. But it's now become a little easier after Rylynn was chosen to receive a Freedom Chair to help get around. "I couldn't even breathe I was so excited," she says.
The idea is the brainchild of Shaun and Shamus Evans. Shaun says Shamus' dream was to help other kids like him. So they started running on behalf of Ainsley's Angels and Power to Push, the pair have run through 15 states and more than 3,000 miles to present the chairs.
Shaun says, "When he came up with the idea, he was only 7 years old. And for a 7-year-old to want to pay it forward to other kids was special to me and that's why we are doing this mission and why we are running across the country."
The pair was only in Michigan for one day to present the chair to Rylynn. Evans says the goal of the chair giveaway is to provide freedom of mobility to families while promoting inclusion for all.
"All too often, kids or individuals with disabilities are sitting on the sidelines and watching and we never wanted that to be the case for Shamus. And we don't that to be the case for anyone."
Shufelt says can't wait to put the chair to good use: "I can't even begin imagine how awesome it is for Shamus to be able to go where he goes, so I'm super-excited to give her the same experience."
The next stop for the pair is Ohio, on Monday.
Click here for more on Ainsley's Angels.
Click here for more on Power to Push.