Like everyone they have met along the journey, there is no one that has not been directly or indirectly impacted by alcohol or substance abuse. The conversation has been common regardless of the scenery, beit rural or urban.
Two cousins, Chris Miller and Mike Dusman, share a common goal in celebrating the recovery of an addict verses remembering their past. Since neither of them have ever been an addict, they have a family member who has been close to their hearts – a family member who has battled addiction, but is on the road to recovery.
This is where their story begins...
Miller served in the Peace Corps overseas, as time drew near for his arrival back home, he wanted to do something special, maybe participate in a cause perhaps. As he talked with his cousin back in the states, they devised a plan for Miller to run across the nation, beginning in New York City and ending in Venice, Calif. Dusman has expertise in marketing, which helped get the family’s cause to the forefront.
The route was mapped.
Miller is a seasoned runner who has run in marathons around the world. Still, he had to train for this endeavor before he trekked across the fruited plains. Each week, Miller devoted hours and miles to this upcoming endeavor, which would be named after him. Finally, ‘Chris Cross the Nation’, was born.
Miller, with the assistance from Dusman, began the journey almost two months ago. Along the way, they are bringing focus to something that most want to keep hidden. Instead of focussing on the stigma, they wanted to focus on the way someone could seek help and how they overcame such a hurdle to victory.
It is this drive that brought Miller through Boonville.
As Miller approaches his mid-way point, he and Dusman had much to share. He likes to draw attention to the drive that allows him to run almost 30 miles each day.
“Through running and spreading a message of home, I hope to help reduce the stigma and to encourage those who need help to seek treatment,” Miller said. “The focus is about showing people there are many people who are in recovery who contribute to society. They are taxpayers.”
Miller said one of the most rewarding aspects of the journey has been the number of people he has met, especially those encounters that are unexpected.
“I get to have a pretty interesting conversation with someone at least one a day. That conversation is inspiring,” he added. “There are not a lot of things in life that are mutually inspiring. I feel very fortunate to be part of a project that is beneficial to everyone.”
During their travels Miller and Dusman have met with several people, especially those who help addicts with their recovery. As Dusman documents the progress through media, they have had the opportunity to interview many individuals and learn what communities around the nation deal with these issues facing individuals.
“One thing that rings true are that there are resources in the community. Some people may not know about it,” Dusman said.
As they entered Boonville on Wednesday after being in Missouri since Saturday, Miller was impressed with the state. In fact, he got an escort across the Mississippi River Bridge at Louisiana – officially welcoming him to the Show-Me-State.
He linked up on the Katy Trail and ran the whole width of the Boonslick Bridge before getting a quick meal at the Main Street Diner.
The town founded by Hannah Cole was of particular interest to Miller, not just on spreading his message, but also as seeing America. After viewing it on Google Maps, it was one stop he made sure was on the route.
Next, Pilot Grove, Kansas and the rest of America. Miller and Dusman plan to be done well before the end of the year with time to spare. For more information, visit https://www.ccthenation.com/. The site is updated on a daily basis.
Miller and Dusman want hope to be front in center in the families impacted by substance and alcohol abuse. And, when there is a recovery, to celebrate it.