At the center of attention is U.S. marathon runner Corey Cappelloni who ran around 218 miles, eight times longer than the normal marathon length, over a week from June 12 to 19 to wish his grandmother recovery from COVID-19. Fortunately, to his relief, he heard on his journey that she was confirmed to recover.
Ruth Andres, turning 99 soon, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early June, according to the ABC News on Thursday (local time). Staying at a nursing home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, her condition got so severe due to a high fever that she was not able to speak and wore an oxygen mask for breathing.
Departing from his house in Washington D.C. on June 12, Cappelloni spent nights in an RV (recreational vehicle) resting and sleeping to maintain social distancing. He had once run almost 251 kilometers across the desert in Morocco, North Africa, but a 350-kilometer-long run was never an easy job for him as well. On the sixth day of his journey, he was too exhausted to keep running. At a moment when he wanted to quit right away, he received a text message saying that his grandmother defeated the coronavirus.
After the good news perked him up, he made it to the nursing home. They were not allowed to talk face to face due to infection risks but instead talked on FaceTime. The grandmother hung a signboard saying “I love you, Corey,” out the window of her room on the four floor. Cappelloni replied through a bullhorn in an excited voice, “Nana, you're a strong person. You’re going on 99, and you still have many more miles.”
The endurance athlete begun raising a fund to help COVID-19-striken elderly citizens who are isolated in nursing homes and medical centers have access to smartphones and tablet PCs so that they can stay in touch with their family and friends. Added to this, he plans to start activities through which people can credit doctors, nurses and nursing home staff for their contributions during the outbreak and pay condolences to the victims. He has collected 24,000 dollars until now.