ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - There are any number of ways you might go about trying to raise awareness and donations for your favorite charity. But how about spending your summer in a canoe paddling about a thousand miles? Thats exactly what two young men from Illinois are doing.
Nolan McClelland explains, "It's really, really just soothing to be out there."
Nolan and Pete Stadalsky have spent the last 28 days on the Tennessee River. They are on their way to the Gulf of Mexico, by canoe.
"We got swamped with rain quite a few times. Everything we own has been soaked," Pete says.
And there are the bugs.
"We've had chiggers and ticks and fleas biting on us."
But through it all the guys say it's been a very positive adventure thus far. What's made it enjoyable is the scenery, the solitude and especially the people they meet.
"People want to go out of their way and take some time to try to make our day a little better. We're hoping by taking the time to go out and canoe we can help make some other people's lives better as well," Pete explains.
So why are they doing this? Well, both of their fathers have type 1 diabetes. Pete and Nolan hope to raise $10,000 for the American Diabetes Association. So it's not just a summer adventure for them. They're on a mission. They're trying to make a difference in the lives of others. They have a long way yet to travel but so far it's been the journey of a lifetime.
So far, Pete and Nolan have raised more than $8,200. Their canoe has a live GPS tracker, so you can follow their progress. If you'd like to check their location, send a message, or make a donation, visit paddletocurediabetes. Click on the SPOT GPS Tracking link on the left side of the page to see their exact location.