Family running the river, donating chairs

Evans family helping kids with special needs participate in road races

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - Shamus Evans wants to “donate mobility” by spending the summer running the entire length of the Mississippi with his dad, Shaun Evans.

The Evans family is working with Ainsley's Angels, an organization that helps kids with special needs participate in road races with custom chairs. Shamus and his dad have always ran together, but in 2015 11-year-old Shamus decided he wanted to run across the country. Now, the Evans family is running their second cross-country journey, donating chairs like Shamus’ along the way.

Shamus and his dad run 45 miles a day while Nicole Evans drives alongside them in their RV with a trailer of chairs ready for a home. Originally from New York, they are currently traveling from Moorhead, Minnesota to Lake Charles, Louisiana.

“Just the people that we meet along the way and the families that we donate the chairs to,” Shaun said. “That’s what it’s all about and those are the memories that will ring in my mind forever, those kids and the smiles on their faces when we give them the chairs.”

In just 11 days the Evans family has donated seven chairs to families with similar stories, and they hope to donate around 25 in all. Each chair ranges in price from $1,000 to $6,000 and the family does everything they can to raise enough funds to donate the chairs.

While passing through the Quad Cities, they had a chance to throw the first pitch at the River Bandits baseball game Monday night, and Shamus and his brother agreed the rides were the best part.

“It’s a great family bonding experience living in a RV for the summer,” said Shaun. “You obviously become really close and we are the kind of family that really thrives on that. We love being with each other and have a lot of fun.”

If you want to follow their journey you can find them on Facebook at Power2Push and if you would like to learn more about Ainsley’s Angels visit ainsleysangels.org

-- Kelley Bowles


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