Former Gastonia trooper makes cross-country walk for fundraising

January 29, 2018 by  

Tommy Dellinger, a retired North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper who has Parkinson’s disease, recently completed his walk across the country, arriving at the Gaston County Police Station in Gastonia.

At the finish line, he was greeted by colleagues, friends, and family who supported him along his walk. Dellinger thanked everyone for their support and inspiration in an emotional brief speech.

After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 39, which forced his retirement six years later, Dellinger underwent a surgical procedure that helped him to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s. He decided to take this walk across the country to raise awareness of the disease.

His trek began in early September and was 2,300 miles long. He began in Rancho Cucamonga, California, meeting many obstacles along the way.

At other times, people came out to help him. After a state trooper in Arizona heard his story on the radio, he saw Dellinger on the road and offered him a beverage. Local emergency workers in a small town in Texas let him spend the night in their headquarters when heavy winds made camping outdoors impossible, while others provided him a roof over his head for the night.

Dellinger believes that this walk has raised more than $10,000 for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Flyers are often used to publicize fundraising efforts such as this one.