EDITOR'S NOTE: This report is part of the News Bulletin's ongoing series on cancer-research fundraisers. The newspaper is proud to support Relay For Life Crestview, which will take place 6 p.m. April 25 at Shoal River Middle School.
CRESTVIEW — Daniel Richards has found a way to combine his love of running and his passion for raising awareness to find a cure for cancer.
"I'm calling it 55 days of inspiration," he says.
Since early December, the Davidson Middle School science teacher has run a mile or more each day to honor cancer survivors, those dealing with cancer and those who have died from it.
Richards honors each person by writing their first name across his face, he contemplates their journey as his feet hit the pavement, and he posts a photo diary on his Facebook page.
"There is a story about everyone," he said. "I just get to go out every day and I get a chance to think about these people and what they have gone through."
Fighting the disease is personal for Richards, whose 6-year-old son, Caleb, was diagnosed with kidney cancer at 4 months old. The Riverside Elementary School first-grader now is cancer-free after receiving successful treatments.
Richards' runs began after he met Landon Cooper of "Miles 2 Give." Cooper, with two other runners, raise funds for sarcoma cancer research. This form of cancer develops in the connective tissue.
"It inspired me to do something more," Richards said. "I had a burden and a passion to do it."
The 55th and final day of his run coincides with the Davidson Dash Run for a Cure 5K / 10K on Feb. 1.
Although he might get sore from the frequent running, Richards said the fatigue is nothing to complain about.
"It's very small and minute compared to what these people have gone through," he said.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Davidson Dash Run for a Cure 5K / 10K
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Feb.1
WHERE: Davidson Middle School, 6261 Old Bethel Road, Crestview
COST: Pre-registration entry for the 5K and 10K is $20; race-day registration costs $25. The kids' fun run is $10.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.