Dad walks 1,200 miles barefoot to fund research for daughter’s treatment


RICHLANDS, N.C. (WNCT) — Walking for 50 days and 1,200 miles sounds daunting enough. What about doing it barefoot?

That’s what one father is doing, all to help raise money for his daughter, who is suffering from a rare illness. He is hopeful to finish his walk in Onslow County on Oct. 24.

Maj. Chris Brannigan’s daughter, Hasti, has a rare genetic condition known as Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS), which affects growth and development. Brannigan’s Barefoot Walk is raising money for a gene treatment that could allow his daughter and other children like her to lead healthier lives. However, the clinical trials cost upward of $3 million.

“I decide to walk barefoot because Hasti’s condition makes lots of things that other children find easy, really really difficult for her,” Brannigan said. “Learning in the classroom, some physical activities, it affects her memory, so it seemed only fair to find something that seems relatively easy, and make it difficult for myself so I can understand what she goes through every day.” 

Brannigan’s walk began in Bar Harbor, Maine, where the laboratory for the gene research is located. He said he chose to finish in Jacksonville, North Carolina because, after serving in the British military for 14 years, he wants to finish with his military family.

He’s walked more than 975 miles so far.

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