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'Adventureman' runs to help sick children

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Jamie "Adventureman" McDonald visits with Josiah Corey, a patient in the James and Connie Maynard Children's Hospital. McDonald is running across the United States and visiting children's hospitals to raise money for charities.

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By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A British long-distance runner who spent the first nine years of his life in and out of hospitals spent Friday in an eastern North Carolina medical center encouraging its young patients.

Jamie McDonald, also known as Adventureman, visited with five patients at the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center.

McDonald, 32, is running the equivalent of 230 marathons without a support team through more than 15 states. He started last year in Washington state — at the westernmost point of the continental United States — and plans to keep running until he reaches Gloucester, Mass.

During his trip, which can be followed at facebook.com/AdventuremanJamieMcDonald, McDonald is raising money for the charity he co-founded, Superhero Foundation, which gives grants to families for medical treatments they might not be able to afford. He has raised $100,000 so far during his United States run.

McDonald, 32, who grew up in Gloucester, England, suffered from syringomyelia, a rare spinal condition, that required repeated hospitalization. He also battled an immune deficiency and epilepsy, according to his Wikipedia page. As he grew older, his health improved.

In 2012, at the age of 26, he documented a bicycle trip he took from Bangkok to his hometown in Gloucester through a series of YouTube videos. A year later he ran 5,000 miles across Canada, raising 250,000 pounds for charities that helped sick children.

It was during his Canadian adventure that he started wearing superhero costumes while running. He adopted the persona of “Adventureman” and starting wearing a costume designed by a 10-year-old boy who suffers dyspraxia, which affects physical coordination.

McDonald routinely posts videos of his daily runs. On Thursday he started the equlivant of his 180th marathon. He also posted video from Kinston, where it was a record-setting 82 degrees according to the National Weather Service.

“It’s flipping hot. I didn’t expect this. We’re in winter,” he said.

McDonald celebrated finding a “nice country road” with little vehicle traffic until several dogs briefly chased and growled at him.

At another point, a woman named Donna Banks stopped and gave his a bottle of Gatorade. Another driver served as an advance scout when he feared a road detour would force him to extend his run by 15 miles. He did not have to detour and ended the day after a 41-mile run.

Individuals who want to donate to the Superhero Foundation should visit https://www.superherofoundation.org/donate or visit the Adventureman Facebook page.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.

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