Follow Jax, Rissa and Jimmy on another epic Jaxwalk adventure!
Jax and Rissa combined will walk 1.3 Million Steps! They are walking in support the D-MAN foundation! Walking for those who can't. These two are starting this adventure at the Escape to Belle Isle 10k on July 16th, 2022. They will leave the race on foot and WALK to Mackinac Island! Jax and Rissa are hoping to finish this dangerous, nearly 300-mile, island to island trek across Michigan's Lower Peninsula in only 10 days! But wait this is a two-part adventure!
On July 26th, 12-year-old Jimmy will be welcoming Jax and Rissa on their completion of the lower peninsula. Then Jimmy is setting out on foot from Mackinac Island and WALKING 100-miles across Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Sable Falls accompanied by Jax (Dad). Jimmy is supporting the Make-a-Wish Foundation with 200,000 steps!
Keep up with "Island 2 Island" adventure on the Jaxwalk Facebook page with LIVE GPS, daily photos and videos. Like to be a sponsor? Or make a donation? You can change lives one step at a time!
Every Dollar helps us another 100 steps into our journey to make positive change!
Rissa (Tarissa) Reel has made it her mission to discuss the things that are swept under the rug. She believes that we need to end the stigma and help others find their voice. Rissa believes that the way to save lives is to show others they are not alone, after all she knows what that feels like. Rissa struggled through childhood abuse and neglect. She dealt with depression and that even led to suicidal attempts. Rissa moved out of her family’s home at the age of 17 thinking the trauma would just disappear. However, it followed her especially after her mother’s death. She ended up in some unhealthy situations and hit rock bottom. Rissa had no other option but to change. She was tired of just surviving. She finally wanted to live. Rissa decided to use her voice to share her story. She wanted others to know they weren’t alone in the struggles they faced. Rissa left on June 22nd, her 26th birthday, on an 800-mile walk. She had to do something to draw attention, what better than a crazy long walk. She used this platform to talk about mental health and ending the stigma on it. She walked all the way from Burton, Michigan to Kansas City, Kansas. After finishing a very hot journey, she spoke for the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses. She has been on several podcasts, one averaging 100K downloads a week. She has spoken at high schools as well as gaining a job at a behavioral hospital after the walk. However, she left that job to pursue motivational speaking and advocating. Rissa is proof that recovery is possible and that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can go anywhere you set your mind to.
Drinking, smoking and unhealthy eating, it was a part of my life for a long time. That lifestyle had me overweight, feeling unhappy, depressed and wanting something better. I remember looking over at my young son and I knew I had to make a change. I was going to be the best possible example for my son I could be. So change I did. I quit anything and everything that wasn't a positive in my life. I became a vegan over night, started working out and walking. Within 90 days of clean eating and good health habits I lost 50lbs and was walking near 20 miles a day. I was seeing an amazing transformation in myself and now I was ready to chase a life long dream. A walk across America... And not just some leisurely stroll but a quest to walk from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in 100 days or less. I took my momentum and turned my training all the way up... By April of 2019 a month before I set out on my coast to coast journey I was walking 40 miles a day with a 40lbs vest. I was told I was crazy, it was not possible, that I'd die in the desert. I didn't care what they said... I set out from Newport Beach, CA March 1st and I walked. I faced many obstacles along the way. Many I didn't expect but I kept going. I was faced with death almost daily. Scorching heat, thunderstorms, rattle snakes, coyotes, a bull, dehydration, starvation, CARS, and even a man armed with an AR-15. I kept going and 5.3 million steps later I had the greatest feeling ever jumping in the Atlantic Ocean with my son who was waiting there for me. I'll never forget when he finally saw me and started running towards me on the beach. I gave him the biggest hug with tears and a smile and we jumped in the Ocean together. Not only did I make it the 2,841 miles but I crushed my original 100 day goal in 79 days. That's an average of 36 miles a day across 9 states, crossing the desert, the Rocky Mts and the Appalachian Mts.
Jimmy is 12 years old and quite an inspiration! A determined young man to make the world a better place! Jimmy was Jax's coach for the Original Jaxwalk Coast to Coast Adventure and the "MI Walk" event and helped raise $7000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital by collecting returnables. That's 70,000 Cans! He's now ready to take on an event of his own... Walking across Michigan's Upper Peninsula in 10 days for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Kids helping kids! That's a beautiful thing!
The D-MAN Foundation, Danny’s Miracle Angel Network, is dedicated to enriching the lives of families and individuals living with physical and mental disabilities. Through education, specialty programs, and fundraising efforts, The D-MAN Foundation strives to ensure that people with quadriplegia and other severe disabilities have the opportunities to achieve the highest quality of life possible.