Story last updated at 12/18/2013 - 5:08 pm
SITKA - What do you do when your 12-year-old son announces he's going to run across America? SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) behavioral health clinician, Brett Wilcox and his wife, Kris, decided to change the subject and hope their son, David would forget about it.
Three years later he hadn't forgotten. As a high school freshman, David became the regional cross-country champion and the fastest 3A freshman in Alaska. He regularly runs 15-milers in the local mountains and is pumped up to become the second 15-year-old to complete this transcontinental run. On Jan. 18, 2014, David and Brett will begin their coast-to-coast run in Huntington Beach, Calif., with Kris and their 13-year-old daughter, Olivia, as their crew.
The reason for their run isn't as simple as "because they can," they have a purpose. As a licensed professional counselor, Brett has spent his career helping people heal from the poison and pain they've endured at the hands of bullies and batterers. Now, he's turning his attention to what he believes to be global bullies - bullies like the giant chemical companies that poison the earth, our political processes and our agricultural system.
"It's time to stop these bullies," he said. "We're running across America to say enough is enough. Poisoning our soil, waterways and air is wrong. Killing bees and butterflies is wrong. Poisoning our health is wrong."
While they are on the road, they are going to visit farms and farmers and document their stories. They will be holding meetings, giving presentations, and talking to the media.
"We're not going to tell people that they have a right to know what's in their food," Wilcox said. "We're going to show them why they need to know what's in their food. And, of course, we're going to pay a visit to Monsanto at its headquarters in Saint Louis, Mo. Then we'll run to Washington D.C. to remind our nation's leaders that they work for the American people, not for multi-national chemical corporations."
The family can't do this alone, however. Both Brett and Kris are taking a leave of absence from their jobs and are incurring considerable expenses. They hope Alaskans have just as much faith in their mission as they do and are asking for help. The Wilcox family hosted a Fund Run at Moller Field in Sitka on Dec. 14 as well as a crowd-funding campaign at Indiegogo.com titled Running For a GMO Free USA (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/running-for-a-gmo-free-usa). For more information, contact Kris or Brett at 752-0447.