Local nurse with Parkinson’s climbing Appalachian trail to raise awareness for the disease

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STRONGSVILLE - A University Hospitals nurse suffering from Parkinson’s disease is making a journey of a lifetime to help spread awareness.

A Strongsville man will be hiking more than 2100 miles for Parkinson’s research.

"It's my last day of work, it's a bittersweet day. I'm leaving a lot of friends behind but fortunately I have to move on,"  said 66 year-old Brian Butler.

He may be retiring from his job as a registered nurse at University Hospitals main campus but he still has plenty of work to do. Butler is fundraising to help find a cure for Parkinson's disease.

Back in 2012, Brian was diagnosed so now he's hiking the Appalachian trial to raise funds to fight the disease. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson's so Butler wants to show the world that it is not a death sentence but a motivator.

Hiking the Appalachian trial will not be easy, it's 2183 miles across 14 states. It starts in Springer Mountain Georgia and ends in Mount Katahdin, Maine. The total elevation gain of hiking the entire trial is equivalent to climbing Mount Everest 16 times.

Brian Butler and his daughter will start this weekend in Georgia. They'll average about 15 miles a day hiking and it will take about 6 months for them to reach Maine.

Butler's daughter Erin will be documenting the hike, plus they'll have a chance to bond  during their  6 month journey.

"What I want to do is ask people to donate a penny a mile, for the 2183 miles of the Appalachian Trial which amounts to donation of $21.83,” says Butler.