LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - If you were driving on Interstate-10 the past couple of days, you may have seen a young man running along the eastbound shoulder of the highway.
With his beard and his slow, steady pace, he looks a little bit like Forrest Gump.
But unlike the famous movie character, this man is running for a very particular reason: The memory of a friend.
"I'll hear them whisper, 'Hey, he looks like Forrest Gump,' and I'll say, 'Well, actually, I do, and here's why.' "
Michael Morris is running across Texas and Louisiana to raise money for the fight against cystic fibrosis, a progressive disease that attacks the lungs and digestive system.
Today, there is no cure for CF, which claimed the life of Michael's friend, Debbie Cheramie, one year ago.
"I lost a friend last February to CF. She was 27 years old and underwent 83 surgeries in her life span. She was a fighter, she didn't let it stop her from touching many lives around her, and she's still touching those lives today," he said.
On Jan. 23, Michael began his run in Rosenberg, Texas, Debbie's hometown. Averaging more than 26 miles -- the equivalent of running a marathon -- every day, Michael will complete his 560-mile journey and arrive in New Orleans on Feb. 16, the one-year anniversary of Debbie's death.
"People I've met along the way with CF, or who have a relative who has it or who has passed from it, it's been amazing, uplifting, and it's given me the strength and energy to continue on through this run," he said.
It's a run Michael hopes will honor the past and bring hope to the future.
If you would like to help Michael Morris's fight against CF, you can make a donation at http://www.cff.org/lwc/michaelmorris.
You can follow his blog at http://back2blueprintsrunningform.wordpress.com.