Like every good idea, it started with a goal: let's have a life changing adventure the summer between our junior and senior years. That's how Running from Malaria began back in November 2012. Since then Waverly-Shell Rock honor students Brad Wylam, Scott Van Daalen and Ethan Wise have been contacting churches, newspapers and radio stations to make their dream become a reality.
Wise, along with fellow varsity cross country runner Brad Wylam, will take turns running the 350 miles across Iowa while Scott Van Daalen will provide support. Their intention is to speak to as many churches and civic groups as they can about eradicating Malaria. The route across northern Iowa begins on June 11th in Hull and ends on the banks of the Mississippi River in Dubuque on July 2nd.
"When we started Running from Malaria, we had been thinking and praying for something we could do, and by the Grace of God, He gave us this," explained Van Daalen. "Every 60 seconds a child dies from this disease, a disease that is preventable and curable."
FIGHT?THE?BITE - Scott Van Daalen, Ethan Wise and Brad Wylam are running across Iowa to help combat Malaria. The young men arrived in Emmetsburg to share their adventure and quest to make a difference at the Methodist Bible School. -Kelsey Buck photo
The teenagers will run anywhere from 9 to 33 miles a day. Various United Methodist and ELCA churches along the route are providing overnight housing and meals for the trio. All donations made while they are on the road will go to either the ELCA Malaria campaign, to be matched by Wartburg College, or to the United Methodist Imagine No Malaria campaign.
"We have a passion to make a difference and with the help of some important people in our lives, we feel like we truly can make a change," said Van Daalen. "We feel as though God has had a hand on us through all stages of Running from Malaria and are so blessed."
To learn more about the boys' project, visit their website: www.runningfrommalaria.com.