Hikers walking from L.A. to Seattle for amputee awareness and fundraiser

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY- Walking from Los Angeles to Seattle takes dedication and strength.  Two men are making that walk to raise awareness and money for people with amputations.  Those two men say amputees show more strength than they are showing during their two and a half month trek. News channel 3’s Steve king has the story.

Jeremiah Ray’s older sister Rebecca Ray had her right leg amputated from above the knee in early 2012.  Jeremiah Ray says  there were blood-clotting issues which were misdiagnosed, and that led to the amputation.  Both siblings quickly learned how expensive a prosthetic leg can be.

"I said, 'I will do a fundraising walk for you," but she said that she didn't want it to be about her. She wanted it to be about all amputees. She wanted it to be about everyone who has and who will lose a limb," said Jeremiah Ray.

So a fundraising walk it was.  With the name of “Footsteps for Rebecca,” Jeremiah and his friend Gustavo Krause, who is visiting the United States from Brazil for the walk and has an uncle who was an amputee, left Los Angeles on November 24th.  They will be in Eureka Sunday.

"There's been times when I've had an ankle issue or maybe some blisters and I think that's so small compared to what she has faced and will continue to face," Ray said.

The goal is to raise $15,000 for the non-profit organization Amputee Coalition.  Through social media and word of mouth, the goal of spreading awareness is also a focus, which is a goal that is already being met.

"People are so generous and so friendly with us and they are helping us a lot. Sometimes giving us shelter or buying us food," said Krause.

And the hope of more awareness and resources for amputees gives them strength as they journey on.

"It certainly makes me think, ‘Okay, I can do this and I will do it,’ so sort of, it has to be done. There isn't another choice," Ray said.

And they will be finished with their journey when the arrive in Seattle by February 17th.

But the challenges amputees face will never stop.

To make a donation, you can visit http://www.crowdrise.com/footstepsforrebecca

More than $3,000 have been raised so far.