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Man Runs Across Country for Rare Disease

PEORIA - A California man's journey across the country brings him here to central Illinois. He's running for hundreds of children who may never get the chance to run on their own.
PEORIA - A California man's journey across the country brings him here to central Illinois. He's running for hundreds of children who may never get the chance to run on their own.
29-year-old Noah Coughlan is on quite the journey.
"It's a 3,100 mile run across the United States. Nine mountain ranges, three deserts, 15 states," he said.  
Coughlan is running from California to Boston by himself, while bearing an American flag and pushing a stroller filled with supplies.
 So far, he's been on the road for 75 days, but his mission fuels him. Noah is running for countless kids worldwide battling Batten's disease, a rare degenerative disorder that attacks the brain.
He carries their names and faces on his arms and wrists.
"Rare diseases are rare because nobody talks about them. They're not well funded. They're not well known. But they are very common," he said.  
Along the way, he meets kids and their families. Three year old Mabel Larson smiles and laughs, but suffers seizures and cannot eat on her own.
"To know that Noah is doing what he's doing now, and it's such a huge mission. He has the ability to carry it out, and it's just amazing because we need people to hear our story," said Ramee Larson, Mabel’s mother.  
Thursday, Coughlan met with the Larson family along with the family of 5-year-old Boston Johnson.
"So by making awareness leads to fundraisers and the funds which will help find treatment for the kids," said Chrissy Johnson, Boston’s mother.  
Coughlan says the children make his journey worthwhile. And they will keep him going for the 30 days and 1,100 miles left on his trip.
Coughlan plans to complete his trip on Veteran's Day in Boston. This is his second time running across the country.
For more information about Coughlan’s journey and the disease, visit his blog.  
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