The gift of mobility

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- It all began with an idea, and now the Evans family from New York, is making their way down the Mississippi River on foot. 

The idea comes from 11 year old Shamus Evans, who despite having cerebral palsy, is planning to run across the country. 

"I was walking along the Mississippi river and I asked the president of Ainsley's Angels how long the Mississippi was and he came up with 1,700 miles and I thought we could do that." he explained. 

And that is just what the Evans did. Shamus, with the help of his father Shaun, set out on their journey down the river on the first of July. 

"Shamus is the kind of kid, even though he is physically limited he doesn't  want to sit on the sidelines and watch. He wants to be an active participant in whatever level he is able to do that. And I have the honor of being his legs so he is able to participate in running events." Shaun said.

They are joined by his mother, and younger brother as well. 

"When Shamus said that we wanted to make it a mission to give back to other kids the way that people gave to him so he could get his chair it was instantaneous that we knew we had to make it happen." said Nichole Evans, Shamus' mother. 

The Evans stop in various communities along the way, making sure to give the gift of mobility, by donating a jogging chair.

"It's a family mission, we are honored to be apart of Ainsley's Angels and we love being apart of that mission and being able to pay that mission forward so other people can see what it's all about." said Shaun.

The Evans made a stop in Jacksonville Thursday evening. They were joined by other members of the Ainsley's Angels, who even  helped to run them in the last two miles. 

"It's kind of neat that we can connect and it's like, I knew this whole family before I had ever even met  them. So it's just a really neat connection that our communities can see what's its all about." said Rachel Landel, Central Illinois Ambassador of Ainsley's Angels.

The cross country running is inspiring Shamus' younger brother, who is working on  his own running this summer.

"My goal is to run a 5K every five days." said Simon, who is nine. 

Shamus is already making plans for their next physical feat. He says he wants to participate in an Iron Man next. 

The Evans will end their run on July 29th in Lake Charles, Louisiana. 

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