DURHAM -- From Seattle to New York City, Brennan Besser, a Duke University Men’s Basketball player, will bike, walk and run across America this summer to raise awareness and donations for the intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) community. Besser is personally connected to the cause as his older sister, Jacqueline, has significantly impaired motor skills and is a daily inspiration to him and the Besser family.
Starting at 10 a.m. PST, May 16, 2018 at the Academy for Precision Learning (5031 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105), Besser will head east across the United States, making stops along the way at nonprofits and community centers to support the IDD community and encourage donations through the Walk On America Foundation to charities including Misericordia Home.
“I’m passionate about raising awareness for the IDD community because I’ve seen Jacqueline struggle and thrive throughout her life,” said Besser. “Yet she hasn’t done this alone and I wanted to start Walk On America as a way to give back to the tireless nonprofits that support this underserved community that often times cannot speak for themselves."
Besser will organize and participate in community events, such as basketball clinics, to raise awareness, making stops at Spokane, Wash., Billings, Mont., Pierre, S.D., Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City.
“Brennan has contributed in so many ways to our program, whether it be in preparation, spirit, or work-ethic -- he's a one-of-a-kind walk-on. I love him, and the spirit he brings is infectious on this team. Nothing he does surprises me, because almost everything he does is not about him. It's about his talents, his emotion and his effort to help others. This is a terrific thing that he's doing this summer and he'll accomplish so much for so many people,” said Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of Duke University Men’s Basketball.
Besser will be joined on the road by his sister Rachel Besser, a creative director and NYC-based fashion designer, who will provide real-time updates on their progress via social media at @WalkOnAmerica on Twitter and Instagram and with #WalkOnAmerica. The trek is estimated to be more than 3,400 miles and take approximately 69 days.
To learn more, encourage the Bessers or make a donation, visit www.walkonamerica.org.