Danville, VA -- A man passing through Danville Wednesday is on a mission. He is walking across the country to spread the word about the painful disease that affects his life.
He started just at the beginning of this month in Virginia Beach and plans to go to California. The average person walks about 3 to 4 miles per hour. He hopes to complete this trip in just six months to help conquer Fabry disease.
Just one step at a time, Courtnay Midkiff deals with Fabry Disease.
"I try not to let it affect me as much as possible," said Midkiff.
So, instead of letting this rare genetic disorder hold him back, he's decided to walk across the country and bring awareness.
"When I was younger if I was having pains or problems and we went into the doctor's office, some doctors didn't even know what it was. So trying to raise awareness is a pretty big deal," said Midkiff.
Being hereditary, both his mother and brother also have the disease. Often people with Fabry suffer from pain in their fingers and toes, making it just that much harder for Midkiff to do this walk.
"Walking across the country is no small feet in itself and living everyday life with Fabry is no easy feet so just putting the two together is a little ridiculous," said Midkiff.
"It's amazing. It's just emotional to me," said Jerry Walter, Founder and President of National Fabry Disease Foundation.
Midkiff and Walter met for the first time in Danville. Walter can't believe someone would go so far to bring awareness.
"It takes a lot to do what he is doing," said Walter.
Even through the challenges, Midkiff says it's all worth it if he can inspire just one person.
"That's kind of why I want to do the walk is so that the people can see you can do anything no matter what," said Midkiff.
Fabry Disease can also lead to increased risk for stroke and kidney failure at a young age.
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