ZIONSVILLE — A Zionsville man ran a half-marathon barefoot Saturday to raise awareness for Pearson syndrome.
Jeremy Shupperd planned on being the only one to run the half-marathon through Carmel and downtown Zionsville, but his friends decided to join him when they found out what he's doing.
"Running barefoot is a good attention getter and when people ask, it's a great conversation starter," Shuppherd said.
He's hoping to raise awareness for this rare disease his baby cousin, Luca, has. A disease with no cure.
"Pearson syndrome is a mitochondrial depleting genetic disorder, so it impacts their blood and white blood cell count," Shuppherd said. "Essentially it impacts their organs and the prognosis is not the best. Possibly a short-lived life."
Luca's family, who lives in Tampa, Florida, says they are staying encouraged.
"I started my campaign to raise funds," Shuppherd said. "My challenge was to run two miles barefoot every day for 30 days straight. I thought that would be physically and mentally challenging for myself. On day 20, I decided that wasn't enough of a challenge."
He says while it's challenging, he thinks it proves the body is capable of amazing things when healthy and functioning.
Shuppherd is raising money for The Champ Foundation.
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This Saturday (June 27th) #HopeForLuca Barefoot Half Marathon . . 💥 Start: 8:00-9:00am at Indie Coffee Roasters in Carmel. 🏆Finish: at OTF WCZ . . Route Details: 131st from Carmel to Zionsville will be majority of race. For more details see image. . . Hoping to stay at or under 9 minute pace. We will see. 🦶🏻 . 4 days left to donate!!!! http://www.anython.com/989hzx Let’s surpass our $5,000 goal and help Luca on his long journey ahead. #PearsonsSyndrome #HopeForLuca