The Man Who Inspired The Words Of Forrest Gump - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The Man Who Inspired The Words Of Forrest Gump Walks Across The Country...Again

KHQ BLOG: This guy is AMAZING! LouisMichael is currently staying in Coeur d' Alene with the Doran family. He's getting much needed rest as he battles a chest cold....he's hoping to hit the road soon when he's feeling better....we wish him safe travels...and Louis if you're reading this...thank you so much for taking time to talk to us. (WATCH the video to the right)

SPOKANE, Wash. - "When I got tired, I slept…"  The first time LouisMichael Figueroa crossed America on foot, he was a 16-year old high school sophomore from New Jersey.  Louis had made a promise to a young boy, a 10-year old cancer patient who was despondent and angry over a life that was ending too soon. 

To give Bobby hope, Louis promised he would run across America for him.  In 1982, the teenager set out from New Brunswick, New Jersey for San Francisco, raising money and awareness along the way for the American Cancer Society.  Sixty days later, he became the fastest and youngest runner to run across America.

Fourteen years later, Louis Figueroa was on the move again, this time inspired by his brother Jimmy.  Jimmy was diagnosed with AIDS, and Louis decided to raise awareness about the disease in the best way he knew how: by setting out cross country on foot.  Walking solo and equipped only with a backpack to symbolize the solitary plight of those suffering with HIV-AIDS, Louis walked from Bangor, Maine to San Diego.  Along the way, the 30-year old (in remission from his own battle with Leukemia), raised money and awareness for AIDS programs across America.

Now, at 43, LouisMichael is on his longest and most important yet.  On January 29, 2005, LouisMichael set out from his hometown in Tucson, AZ walking in a great loop around America.  Due to complications, after six months and over 3,000 miles LouisMichael had to stop walking.  Never one to give up or leave anything undone- on June 4th, LouisMichael picked up from where he left off, 4 miles west of Somerset, PA. Once again, he is walking for the most important cause of all: happy childhoods. 

Louis Figueroa, now a father and a successful professional in the business world, wants America to know about the plight of abused and neglected children.  It's a plight he knows firsthand: for most of his life he's lived with his own painful secret as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

The walk has three goals: to help erase the warm fuzzy rhetoric on the issue of child protection.  Boost the membership of PROTECT – America's only political action committee for children-whose sole purpose is to lobby state Capitals and Congress for better laws to protect children. To shine the light on the wastefulness of God's grace and forgiveness, therefore giving abuse victims a chance to heal.

To learn more about LouisMichael and his walk, click here

 

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